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" The Earth hath bubbles, as the water has. 
And these are of them :** 

New York: 
RoLLO, Publisher. 


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ALH32.^^. 2.0 




NOV 4 1940 

EimRBD aeeordiiig to Act of Congren In the year I860} by 

& A. BOLLO, 

In th« Caerk'f OfBee of the DfaMet CkHirt of the United Sttttei for the Soo^^ 
N»w Tork. 

W. H. TinsoN, Stereotyper. 

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A kind friend, a gonial writer, and the accomplished 


these Kernels are inscribed. 

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There are two requbites to make a BooL The first is 
Garniture — its general appearance. This invites. The 
other is Interest This entraps. 

The RESULT. Your friend 75 cents or $5, gives you a 
Warranty Deed to have and to hold possession without a 

The Reading Public are Grand Jurors. The Author is 
the Prisoner. With nervous fear, trembling hope and eager 
expectancy he awaits the decision from which there is no 

The RESULT. He is either gibbeted or gazetted. 

If there is a failure in the Garniture, the Publisher is 
Zidnged. If there is a failure in Interest, the Author is 

The RESULT. In either case, a delicate position and a 
certain target. 

Reader ! You have caught one, " flagrante delicto.** Can 

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70U, as Juror^ be lenient? Must you be severe^ without 
mercy, bid the Prisoner, stand ! for his sentence. 

The RESULT. Non est inventus. 

What follows? Nolle prosequi. 


Kblvinden, March, i860. 


by Google 


Gregpry Ashton^ 15 

Tom Bolt's Ncwy, 54 

A Pass at our Improvements, 64 

The Death Whisper, 71 

A Memory of life, 79 

Mania. Its Progress, 85 

Charred Embers, 92 

Wave and Wood, No. L, • • • • • 5^ 

Landlord W^rpe, 11 1 

Literary Empiricism, 129 

CoL Easy, 138 

Wave and Wood, No. 11., 145 

Sir Roger Inkleby's Story, 153 

Mental Culture, 161 

John Brimmer, 171 

The Rock and the Skeleton, 176 

Patrick Henry, 195 

Pusillanima Simple, 214 

A Kernel for'* The Knick,'' 222 

Autobiography of Bill Money Dollars, • • • 228 


by Google 

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Kit Kelvin and Friends, • • • • Franhsfnece. 
Tom Bolt and Ncwy, • • • • 62 

Sam, 127 

Aldeiman Simple, 220 

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Gregory Ashton. 

Is oTerhaoling the papers of a deceased friend, my eyes 
fell upon a sealed package, addressed " To my early friend, 
C. JJ* It was preserved neatly, and sealed with black 
wax, bearing the coat of arms of my friend's family. Upon 
the coTer was also written, " To be opened only by the 
addressed.'' I placed it in my pocket for an early ex- 

My friend, Frank Bashleigh, had been dead a year. 
He was of an opulent family — eccentric in his life — some 
thought studiedly so. He had receired a imiversity edu- 
cation at C , but from an indifference of feding, with 

a slight touch of the lymphatic in his temperament as well 
as independence of state, he had merely, obtamed a pro- 
fession for its name and convenience. As a lawyer he 
never practised, but spent the most of his time in foreign 
travd and his own literary pastimes. He had published 
several volumes which were highly creditable. His style 
was terse, epigrammatic and easy. But a singular cynical 


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14 EjT EeLYIn's KEBinBXS. 

strain, blending with deep misanthropy, ran through all his 
writings. It was hardly his nature ; at least, I nerer 
could harmonize his actions with his pen, to me like the 
mysterious handwriting upon the wall, unexplained, until 
the sealed package was opened. 

It was the longest night of the year, the 21st of De- 
cember, that I had disengaged myself from all friends and 
business engagements, and shut myself ia my library, shut- 
ters closed, curtains drawn, a hospitable and welcome fire 
in the grate, and the concomitants of an evening alone. 
Drawing the package from my private drawer, I broke the 
seal. Within was a manuscript, fastened with tape, from 
which dropped this letter : 

February, 18 — . 
Mt Diar J ^ 

I inclose this unpublished MS. to you. Read it, and then 

bum it if you choosoi. To me it is now unimportant, and when 

you read it, will be immaterial, for I shall then be a bratm po¥fderf 

or approximating thereto. 

You remember when I left for C-^— for a four years' course of 
wildness and little study, the general result of an education at 
uniTersities, where congregate bur-brained JuTeniles to do abom- 
inable deeds and damn thought by squibbing Freshmen, tricking the 
tutors and harasdng the "Pr«a;." My cAtim was Gregory Ashton. 
His history is this MS. The possessors of the eeeret hare all 
gone. I alone remain, but am fast gaining the <mter door. Poor 
Gregory I 

I know you appreciate literary efforts, particularly such as these 
life-fieusts well filled out might embrace. Peradyenture you smile at 
this my legacy, but I fear your smile wiU be ghastly when you have 
fiiilshed it. 

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Gbegoby AfisroK. 15 

This Tillainoufl pain and cougb, J , is wearing me ont Rre- 

monitory symptoms of the grave^worm I Did yon ever in fancy 
possess these filthy flesh-eaters with animtu, and imagine how they 
gloat over poor, dead humanity ? How they revel all alone among 
the members I Kissing the lips of proud beauties with their slime, 
and insulting entombed monarchs by dancing dead waltzes in their 
eye-sockets I Bah I I feel them ahready crawling outside my life- 
door in greedy, hyena impatience. If I make you shudder I wiU 
turn a cold shoulder to my imagination foreyer, for this is my last 
earthly pencilling. Life's chequered scenes hare gnarled my 
nature. You will not doubt it, and the sooner this frail wtton 
thread of existence is snapped, the better. If this be a wicked 
desire I shall know it, but not now. 

To the end, yours, 

Fbahk Rabhlhoh. 

"Poor Frank P I exclaimed. "Life's outer door has 
been opened finally, and he has stepped from the threshold 
into eternity P I laid aside the letter and took up 
the MS. It read : 


Beyond life is the untried portion. What is it f Who 
knows? If it be a duplicate of present existence— 4f it be 
a continuation of real earth scenes— then methinks death 
as an eternal sleep would be a rich graye boon. If it be 
a perfection of the soul's better, brighter and diviner 
qualities— 4f it be a recompense for noble, yet fritile, unat- 
tained results of bitter, yearning exertions — ^then death as 
an eternal sleep is frightfully repuMve. 

Moralists and preachers assume the latter theory. 

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16 Kit Kelvin's Keenels. 

They establish their utterance npon the Bible. It is foolish 
to doubt ; it is better to beliere. Why f Because the 
heavy cargo of Life is easier borne and more patiently 
endured. The mystery of Bdmg hereafter is Hope, Faith 
and Charity. He who has it not is bom of Evil. He who 
knows it and cannot cherish it, is like a wandering, 
sheeted ghoul — legibly branded with the scorching impress 
that damned Cain — ^lost I 

In life we hear the invisible phalanx of future scenes 
approaching. Its muffled drum is Presentiment. We 
dwell upon it and are unhappy ; we throw it from us and 
we are suddenly and fearfully surprised. 

Man's immaterial portion, combining all the strength of 
mysteries connected with a Hereafter, as pitched agamst 
his carnal elements, with all the pleasures of real expe- 
rience, finds a severe struggle — a merciless enemy, and, 
when subdued, but half conquered. 

Follow the/reoA; of hdrig through a friend's existence. 
You are staggered at his angular defects. What means 
the inconsistency cropping out here and there but the 
battle between the immaterial and the carnal ? His light 
fades in the struggle. What is his recompense ? 

There is a charm that always lingers to friendship 
fcmned at sea. I do not know why it is. There may be 
something in the isolated life ; a wild, surging, treacherous 
world of water about you, laughing at man's ingenuity 
and sHm defiance in a hull — ^and there are few about you 
to brave unseen dangers ftnd poEssibl;^ go 4Qwn t(^ther, 

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Gbegoby Ashton. it 

But it is so. Kext to this is early attachment. A pet 
schoolmaster, a genial classmate, cemented stronger than 
welded iron, if the two dispositions blend and travel more 
or less life's pilgrimage together. 

As the dipping snn threw a parting, jocnndraj ag^nst 
the glittering dome of the State House at B — , the stage- 
coach left me at my boarding-house, which was to be my 
hcHne for four years, if perchance I should demean myself 
well within some huge brick walls that loomed near. An 
ablution and a brush had made me fresher, and I Altered 
the tea-romn with a sharp appetite. A fine specimen of an 
African pointed to a chair and position at the table, and 
that very spot I occupied so long as I remained. Some- 
times it was held through force, but I contended stoutly 
for it and had my way. It was my systematic propensity, 
and that tenacity was finally recognized, and if my ingress 
was late, there was my position and the chair in readiness. 
The table was well filled by those about my own age, who, 
like myself, had either come for matriculation, or, had 
afready rubbed out more or less of the stipulated number 
of years of study. 

Opposite me sat a young man whose appearance riveted 
my attention from among them aJL His face was abready 
touched with manly lines that ordinarily belong to those 
much older. There was a sternness about his mouth, and 
yet it was a winning one. There was a decision in his 
eye, yet it was gentle. A proud Roman nose, and hair ct 
luxuriant growth, slightly curling, suffici^tly so to marie 

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18 Kit Kelvxn's Kernels. 

the distinction from straight, obstinate locks. He wore a 
n^ligd tie with his collar partly tamed over. Although 
there was nothing affected in his costume, yet it became 
his air, mien and looks rarely. His dark eye fell upon me, 
rested a moment and then left me. It was a glance quick, 
piercing and obserrant. I have noticed it often since, as, 
also, when black passions harrowed his soul to desperation, 
it has been fed with latent fires and darted sparks that 
scorched to incineration. His eyes were beautifdl, yet 
fearfuL From his mold I detected great muscular pow^ 
and Tigor. His gait was dignity and grace. 

Among the older ones was a chattering conversation of 
English and classical quotations with an occasicmal dropping 
of the Toices into confidential murmurs, perhaps at some 
fresh one's expense, for laughter was not wanting. During 
the meal, I detected the keen eye that had read me taking 
each in turn until it had completed the circle. My 
conclusions were, he also had just arriyed — a stranger — 
and upon this supposition I mentally resolved to early make 
his acquaintance, for I was irresistibly forced to do it. 
It was the obverse of that repuMveness which drives us 
from persons and objects with silent and wiUing consent 
His intuition was certainly remarkable and his memory as 
strong as the ribbed masonry of creation. 

I had passed from the table, and was throwing lingering 
looks toward my native home— expmencing a slight 
sinking of the heart, in this, my utter and first loneliness, 
as a mellow voice addressed me. I say it was mellow, yet 
markedly decisive : 

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Gbegoey Ashtok, 19 

" Are you here for matriculation ?'' 

I turned and met that eye. My hand was thrown out 
to meet one already extended. 

" Sympathetic union/' burst from my lips, inyoluntarily. 
He grasped my hand, wrong it, and exclaimed almost 
with exultation : 

" I knew it must be so ! My name is Gregory Ashton," 

" And mine, Frank Rashleigh." 

** And what God joins let not man diyide," he respond- 
ed, with heavy emphasis. 

The strangeness was orer. We were friends, and old 

*' I arrived to-day from Virginia — my first appearance 
North," he quietly remarked, with a comical smile. " I 
do not know how the atmosphere will agree with me ; but 
I trust favorably. Have you noticed our mess V 

"Not reliably." 

** Should I live to be as old as Seth, of Genesis, I shall 
not alter my impressions. There is one certainly around 
that table I can never love. He is handsome, but his in- 
dications are treacherous. You see, I am diving ahnost 
before I can swim ; but it is my nature — ^I cannot help it." 

Gregory was correct. In all the four years he never 
changed his opinions formed of each living soul at the time 
I first caught his eye. Neither had he cause to do it. 
They were as he had read them. 

The gates of morning opened splendidly over the gloom 
of night. It was the day of matriculation. The declining 
sun crowned Gregory with his first laurels. He passed a. 


by Google 

20 Ejt Kelvin's Eebnels. 

brilliant examination^ and I saw the Faculty had already 
gazetted him. It could not be otherwise. That mind 
immortal was burnished like snn-light. Ah ! conld it air 
ways have so remained without the rust of this imperfect 
existence. But what polish will not grow dim, yet leare a 
melancholy trace of supernal lustre once its own 7 Shade 
of Ashton ! how my heart bleeds I That eye is closed, 
and foreyer dimmed. Like a meteor, shooting brilliancy 
for other's gaze of wonder, and perishing by its own 
brightness, its encircling rays, its cerement, and its burial 

There are instances of real and perfect friendship— rare 
in manhood, I allow, unless formed in early life. It is the 
youth who has his troop of friends— 4;he young man has 
his selection ; but in riper years of middle manhood he 
stands alone, like the old oak spared in the forest, wra|^)ed 
in the pride of its stateliness, proud of his estate, and 
jealous of his wotdd-be compeers who are sprin^g up 
around him. His friends dazzle in the sunlight of his 
success ; but amid the fogs, damps, and blasts of neutral 
and uncertain prosperity, they have retreated and coiled 
themselves snug from the storm. 

Gregory was a singular excepticm to this common truth. 
In all his college life he had but one intimate beade my- 
self, and yet he was the most popular, the most admired, 
and the most sought. He had silently established his 
character for hon(»*, nobleness and daring, without eff<H*t, 
without artificiality. He stood the first in all things. It 
was not necessary for him to api^y himself assiduoinily, and 

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Gbbgobt Abhtok. 21 

yet he was neyer idle-^^never allowed his mind to be nnoo' 

Percj Dashwood was his other Mend. The only son of 
a prondy princely East India merchant, a resident of the 
town, who plnmed himself upon his femily and his wealth. 
The son inherited his father's beanty, hi^ feeling, and 
was reckless even to indiscretion. These combinations of 
character charmed Gregcny, and mingled well with his own 
feelings. The father very naturally looked with grateM 
satisfaction upon snch a re[»re8entatiye as Percy, and had 
early trained him for sdf-reliance, courage, and ambition. 
He had just returned from abroad, where he had passed 
the winter and spring in Italy, and his summer in Switzer- 
land, with Percy and his sister Edith, and had entered his 
son at the same time with Gregory and myself. 

A foreign voyage upon a young man is suggestiye of 
superciliousness; but the charm of Percy was his entire 
want of any snch constituent. His pride lacked arrogance 
as much as his beauty lacked effeminacy. With the 
proud blood of his father, he, too, looked upon his family 
with lofty satisfaction; and his sister Edith he treasured 
as he would his mother's dust. She was his beau-ideal of 
woman, his rosary and tutelar deity. I can never forget 
the brilliant joy that covered his face when Gregory first 
met her, and bent his dark eye upon her, and lingered U 
there, I was watching him. His eye shone diamonds, 
and his mouth was wreathed with an intoxicating smile. 
He worshipped Gregory, and would have hazarded his 
soul's salvation for his life. The sincerity of his attach- 

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22 Err Ejslyin's Esbnbls. 

ment was folly appreciated, and Gregory always farored 
him like a younger brother. It was an infinitely happy 
contrast — ^Percy with his youthful, extravagant, enwrapped 
admiration, and Gregory with his ardent, protecting love. 

We had been invited to an evening party at Percy's 
house. Gregory ordinarily avoided miscellaneous company, 
and could hardly endure a '' crush^^ as he called soir^. 
'^ They are stifling to the nobler qualities, and crush out 
one's manhood, Frank. Yet it is well, I suppose. I wish 
I could sympathize with such cheery gatherings. We 
shall see that treasure <^ Percy's to-night ; but I would 
sell twelve years of my existence w>t to go. Still, it will 
not do to decline— I love Percy." 

" Well," I exclaimed, " you have the power to indurate.'' 

"Ah I youa weird too ! Yes I it is sympathetic union. 
That expression I shall never forget. It was apt. It is 
truth. Let us say no more, but go." 

Even intimacy could not suggest a compromising reply 
when Gregory emphasized his utterance. We went. Not 
a remark passed our lips until we rang the bell. Then 
Gregory bent his head to my ear and whirred meaningly, 
"At th. threshold at last." Six years from that very 
night he finished the sentence with his expiring breath. I 
detected a slight moisture in his imperial eye, but it was 
but momentary. The servant ushered us in, and we were 
amid mirrors, rosewood, Italian vases, beautiful painlings, 
and all the perishing splendor of society, at the Dash- 
woods'. It was Edith's party, celebratmg her return, the 
last season, from the continent. Percy was at our side in 

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Gbegoby Ashton. 28 

amomenty and immediately taking Gregory's arm, led «s to 
his mother. " Mother, my Mend, Ashton — ^Mr. Bash- 
leigh." There was a cahn self-confidence abont her reply, 
" Mr. Ashton, I have heard of yon through Percy; I am 
hi^py to see you." Gregory inclined forward with his 
native grace to receiye the delicate hand partiaUy ex- 
tended, and replied : '' Madam, I am grateM to find a 
Mend in yonr son." It was all he said, but it was enough, 
for the mother, with a new joy in her eye, retained his 
hand, as she replied : 

" You are welcome.** 

" Gregory,** exclaimed Percy, "we are aU your Mends. 
Mother pets me and I am her mouthpiece— come.** As 
Gregory turned to follow his classmate, I saw the slight- 
est hesitancy for an instant ; but the next, that proud, 
decided gait told whatever the feeling was, it was even 
then conquered. 

At the other end of the room, surrounded by fair 
damsels and her many admhrers, stood Edith. She was 
earnestly engaged in conversation. I cannot, yet I must 
describe her as she then appeared to me. A figure magni- 
ficently molded — her waist lithe as the pliant osier, with 
the charms of womanhood gracefully curving a rich bodicei 
fitting superbly her person. Her foot and ankle sugges- 
tive of the mazy waltz — a hand peerless as the fair maids 
of Judea. Her lips full with a tint as rich and mellow as 
the sunny vintage of Oporto ; and her voice that rang 
like the chime of silver bells. Her soft;, chestnut hair 
shaded a &ce of matchless beauty, while her rich blue eye 

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24 Kir Eelyin's Eebniojs. 

sbot glances from nnder arched eyebrows and long, pendent 

There was but one expression from Gregory's lips. I 
do not think Percy heard it. It was suppressed, bnt fear- 
ftilly distmct — " Ye Gods I'^ It came from the centre of 
his heart. He conld not help it. He did not know it. 
"Sister, allow me a moment's intermption — Gregory 
Ashton — ^Mr. Bashleigh," and Percy moved aside. It was 
then I saw that secret joy, as he gazed npon the two 
beings he most loyed in all the world. 

Edith's blush was perfect. I wish her sex could always 
look as she did then. The fairest, faintest, yet the most 
finished of its kind. Gregory's gaze was that of rapt 
admiration. It was the look of the perfection of expect- 
aBcy fully satisfied. 

I had now translated his unwillingness to be. present. 
He knew all this before he left his room. 

" Percy has introduced the likeness often, but not the 
person." Edith said this gaily. 

The spell was broken, and Gregory unhesitatingly 
replied : ** Could the likeness on canvas speak, it would 
often say to beholders. Spare your critidsm." 

*' Excellent I" broke in Percy. " Gome, Gregory, to my 
father." As Gregory turned, Edith's eye followed him. I 
know not what she said, but I do know what she 

Mr. Dashwood met us in his princely way, passed a few 
words, and the gaieties of the evening commenced. 

It was three in the morning when we left the house. 

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Gbegoet Ashton. 25 

As Gregory threw himself upon his bed, he groaned. He 
did not speak ; in ten minutes he was asleep. 

We were both worthless the next day. Gregory said 
the vintage held over, and took precedence over devotion 
and study. He spoke highly of the wine, but Edith was 
not mentioned. 

The suburbs of C are the finest in the world. Italy 

has her horizon ; Switzerland her mountains ; France her 
vintages ; Germany her weird scenery ; England her prim 
neatness, and the States their diversity to charm. 

There is an enthusiastic mist on the vision of boyhood, 
and descriptions of foreign parts glow with all the capti- 
vating splendor of a fairy tale ; meet it eye to object, and 
it is earth, only. The Almighty had no partiality in 
creation. You cannot find an ugly face on woman but 
what is recompensed by some creditable trait of character, 
kindness or sympathy. 

My native village, with its elms, maples, and sleeping 
stillness, I would not exchange for all the Baden Badens 
or Boulevards of the Continent. 

About C nature is lavish. Near it, is the ripple 

of ocean ; with it and from it, is God's picture — ^the 

Gregory and myself had a spot we often frequented, 
some distance from the University — a woodland near 
the highway — and morning and evening we pwd 
there a pilgrimage. It was here Gregory told me of 
bis mother. 

'' Frank, you say I am old in feeling. I cannot conlara^ 

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26 £rr Kelvin's Kebnbls. 

diet you. The reason, I ascribe to early boyhood sorrow. 
I have a perfect recollection of my mother. I loyed her 
beyond the imagery of words. I was eight years old — a 
foolish, headstrong boy. My great propensity, to the 
alarm of my mother, was to be npon the water, and I 
hare often stolen away to satisfy snch^ a desire. Upon 
one occasion, my mother was not well, and my father was 
absent from home. Calling me to her side, she said: 
* Gregory, yon will not leave me to-day to go npon the 
water, win yon ? Go into the park and amuse yourself. 
If I want you, Pompey will come for you.^ With this she 
bent her head and kissed me fervently. It was the last 
time I ever saw her alive. About a mile from Woodlawn 
— ^the name of my home-— was a beautiful lake, and from 
the park I could just discern the shimmer of sunlight upon 
its waters. That afternoon a party of fellow-boys had 
urged me to accompany them for a swim, and my eyes 
were strained to catch sight of them. The evil moment 
came and withered my goodness. It was oppressively 
snltry, and how cool would be the water. The tempter 
whispered : It will be only a short time — go I I was 
upon the beach in fifteen minutes — breathless. A yell of 
exultation was sent up from the boat as it hastened to 
receive me. I was enjoying the plunge as a cry of agony 
startled me. One of the party had sunk. Some .of us 
remained by the boat, while others swam ashore to give 
the alarm. But the boy never rose, nor was the body 
recovered until the succeeding day. The alarm spreading 
like wOdfire, reached the ears of my mother. Pompey 

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Gbeoobt Ashtok. 27 

was immediately sent in quest of me, bat I was not to be 
found. ' It is he— my Gregory/ were my mother's last 
words — she died before I arrived. Frank, for this treach- 
erous baseness a curse will follow my affection for woman. 
It ought.'' 


" Excuse me. I feel it, I know it." 

I could not express it, but I felt Gregory had a subtle 
feeling of destmy lingering about him, and growing 
stronger each year of his existence. 

I really believe there are minds so strongly imbued with 
prescience, that the foture is clearly traced before them, 
at least overpowering them with foreboding clouds. 
Yet Gregory was always cheerful and eiyoyed merriment 
seemingly as well as myself. 

Gregory's intimacy with Percy increased. He called at 
times upon the family, but his visits were not frequent nor 
of long duration. Miss Dashwood was sought by many 
worthy and ardent admirers, but they were unsuccessful. 
She retained her elasticity of spirit, and dazzled the world 
wherever she went. Her self-conunand toward Gregory, 
at all times, was admirable; but I fancied her heart favored 
him. Two years after, my suppositions were substan- 

We had entered our Junior year, and were fast counting 
the time yet to spend within the University. Gregory 

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28 En Keltin's Kernels. 

had changed. His form was more manly, his features a 
little more defined, and his mien was dignified and grace- 
ful. If he did not possess real manly beauty, I know not 
what it is. He was one that woman only saw to adore. 
If he ever allowed himself to detect such weakness, it was 
forgotten studiously. 

We were taking our usual morning walk to the Wood- 
land, and had reached the gate through which we passed. 
As Gregory placed his hand iqpon the button, a rapid 
clattering of hoofs was heard. He turned, exclaiming : 
" Good God ! Frank, look P 

I cast my eyes up the road and a sight met them that 
made me shudder. It was a lady upon a fi*antic horse dash- 
ing toward us with the speed of death. Her hat was partly 
off, and her face pale as the shrouded dead, while her tresses 
were streaming in the wind. It was Edith Dashwood. 

" She must be saved 1'' was scarcely uttered, as Gregory, 
like a famished wolf, gave one bound upon the beast as he 
was tearing past. The finger of God was there. He fas- 
tened upon the mane, and clinging with the tenacity of 
desperation and the strength of a tiger, placed his foot 
upon the reins at the bit, and brought down the proud 
head of the maddened steed with a fearful impetus. He 
was checked— fati^y. The beast swaying, yielding and 
giving way, Gregory saw it, and quick as the electric fluid 
— strongly, yet gently, he threw his right arm about the 
waist of the rider and leaped backwards unharmed with 
his precious charge, as the steed rolled over heavily upon 
liie ground— his neck brokea 

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Gbeqoby Asbtob. 39 

Shuddering, Edith faintly articulated, *' Yon haye saved 
me, Mr. Ashton," 

'' For which, Miss Dashwood, I humbly, yet gratefully 
thank God," 

He was about removing his arm. ''Excuse me, Mr. 
Ashton, I feel weak — ^fodishly sa If you will kindly 
su{^rt me a moment — ^my father must be just behind." 
Her head fell, and was closely pillowed upon Gregory's 
chest. It was the hi^iest moment of Edith Dashwood's 
existence. I would pledge my earthly felicity that ciie 
would have hazardedher life again for the same ecstatic state. 

Poor littie heart I when she raised her beautifbl head, I 
saw just one small tear-drop glittering fike pearl upon 
Gregory's waistcoat. But there was ncme upon her face. 

As Mr. Dashwood iqrarred iq), his face was foil of 
intense anxiety and extreme terror. But Edith's podtion 
^brought joy, sudden and full, back to him. 

" Father, my preserver I" 

The proud man leaped from his saddle, and graeping 
Gregory's hand, kissed it fervently and wet it with tears. 
Tes t he had a heart. 

It was some time before he found utterance, and then it 
was broken. 

" I ciuinot — ^may God reward you, sir." 

What would Edith have done if it were then and there 
within her power? 

Heart of woman — ^what ? 

As we separated, Edith threw a gluice to Gr^ory, and 
in her most winning accents said : 

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80 Err Kelvin's Kernels. 

** Yoa are too much of a stranger to ns aH" 

'' You shall eyer and always be warmly received,'' added 
her fathe 

Grr ^ted his cap and gracefully threw a kiss from 
his lingers. It was the only language he conld command, 
for there was mdstore in his eye. 

He walked to the riderless steed and placed his foot upon 
its neck to crash it. ** No 1 it is cowardice even to a 
beast. But to think how near your cruel speed was fatal 
to Go(Ps cha/rm P* 

Could Edith have heard that, her little heart would have 
broken into pieces in very joy. 

It was well she did not. 

" By the exploits of Hercules, Gregory, you " 

" Not a word, Prank ! The scene is over and forever. 
Why dwell upon an act of common humanity — of duty V 

But even this extraordinary self-command had its sur- 
fisMse, for the scene lingered freshly in Gregory's mind until 
his lasl pulsation. 

A true, righteou2( and noble memory of agonizmg self- 
sacrifice. It was not pride that choked the confession of 
love — it was not malice of heart ; but that poiaonous, 
subtle feeling of Fate. 

The rapture of Percy was without limit. He recognized 
Gregory after this as one loaned from heaven. 

I noticed after this period, Gregory's mind delighted in 
hard problems and abstruse theories ; and he said he 
wished he could find one puzzle in all the studies that 
would make him jealous of it. 

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Gbbgobt Ashton . 81 

From the rescue I date a fearful foreboding in Gr^ory's 
mind, that Edith's happiness would be utterly and fearfuUy 
blasted by his instrumentality. There were a greater 
number of empty cases of sherry in the waste room than 
formerly accumulated there. I used to tell him when he 
dressed for an eyening at the Dashwoods', that he looked 
miserably, and intentionally so. 

" Do you really thmk it, Frwik ? Well I it would bo 
malicious if I should think better of myself for it, I sup- 
pose ;'' and a smile and a favorite quotation from Horace 
in his ode to Murena, generally followed : 

*'8perat infMtii, metolt seciindis 
Alteram sortem beae prsBpartlnni 
Peetufc»» ♦ 

Harry St. John was one of our class. The very person 
Gregory criticised the first evening we ever met. He was 
one whose father's wealth and his own personal eomeliaeSB 
made the man. An indifferent scholar, given to extreme 
waywardness, hazard and the bottle. He delighted in 
wassail and its frail divinities. Gregory had manned him 
from the first of his college life — ^but invariably held 
charity over him and never ^ke indifferently of his char- 
acter to the class. 

There was a reckkssaess about St. John that fascinated 
many — ^for there are always some scenes to be met and 
passed at a university where such a character is generally 
accessary to fill oat the dramatis persona. 

^ A weU prepared lool h^ee in adrenity «od teut in proiperity* 

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82 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

I do not know that he had any real, true Mends — ^but 
his generosity, or rather careless indifference, in scoring 
and footing bills of wildness, made him nominally popular. 
Actual reliability of character he did not possess. His 
most conspicuous idiosyncrasy was pure jealousy and dis- 
trust. I dare say had he been a charity student, he 
would never have figured as the most important character 
in this MS. But his father was a man of influence in 
town — a good and just person with a name highly hon- 
ored and respected. Upon this prestige his son lived. 

'Spring dawned upon us with its early violets and burst- 
ing buds for the last time at C . One short season, 

and we went forth as sons from the paternal roof with 
blessings and well-wishes for future success. 

Our class was in want of a subject for dissection. It 
was true the town gave its encouragements, but such 
bodies were generally diseased — aggravatingly so. We 
wanted youth stricken down suddenly, with full physical 
powers. St. John reported such a case in the neighboring 

village of W , where his father resided. It was a 

young lady who had died ei\joying physical vigor, after an 
illness of one hour from severe pain over the left eye. We 
seized upon the facts greedily, and a secret session was 
held. The majority of our class, those that countenanced 
our medical wants, were present. Gregory was j^aced in 
the chair, and after a discussion for a few moments, it was 
resolved that the body should be procured at all hazards on 
the eve of its burial. It was farther agreed that the per- 
sons appointed to carry this project into execution, should 

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Gkegoby Ashton. 33 

not decline save by the Providence of God. There were 
to be four only. 

Gregory spoke in his measured mellowness of voic^-— 

" Gentlemen, you will proceed to nominate." 

" Gregory Ashton 1" exclaimed Percy ; " with full comr 
mand of the party and its operations.'' 

Gregory slightly bowed, compressing his lips. He ex- 
pected it. Poor Percy; he knew not what commands 
would be uttered for himself. 

Another voice, " Frank Rashleigh.'' 

" Percy Dashwood." 

I cast a glance on Gregory. There was a deadly pale- 
ness upon his manly face. 

" Harry St. John.'' 

That name must have broken most bitterly over Greg- 
ory, for there was evident pain now added to his pallor. 

The list was full, and the meeting dissolved. 

I endeavored to catch Gregory, but he was gone. I 
found him in deep metaphysics with an empty bottle on 
the table. It could not have been half an hour. 

The burial was the succeeding day. It came gloomy, 
overcast, a fit herald of the eventful evening. 

Gregory was depressed during the morning, but rallied 
after dinner, and sent for Percy and St. John. Before the 
messenger returned, a note was handed in by Mr. Dash- 
wood's servant. I never saw Gregory tremble before. 
His hand could hardly receive the note. " Pish 1" he pet- 
ulantly exclaimed. " Dissipation will have its recompense," 
turning to me. He broke the seal, read it, and threw it to me. 


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84 En Kblyin's Kernels. 


Dear Grioort : 

Edith wishes me to go to town for her this p.ic., but joa can 
rely upon my return. I ma^ not be back in time to accompany 
you to the gravel 


'' Unfortnnate, I fear,'^ emphasized Gregory. I looked 
at him, I never saw his eye assume the expression it then 
did. It was not mortal, FU swear. More I cannot say. 

St. John came in. 

" You will report yourself here at nine. In the absence 
of Dashwood I shall be unable to say more until that 
time," continued Gregory. " And now you will excuse me, 
St. John, as I do not feel well'' 

St. John left. 

Gregory threw hunself upon the sofa after his usual 

Promptly at nine St. John came in. 

"You are commendably prompt, Mr. St. John; I 
believe we are ready — ^Dashwood is not in from town yet ; 
I fear something has befallen him. We must push out 
without him. Come, Frank T' 

We had disguised ourselves exceedingly well, and felt 
quite safe in the advent of sad emergencies. The pass- 
word to be used by us was, Eternity. Percy had received 
it in the morning. 

" I do not understand Percy's absence,*^ Gregory whim- 
pered, as we went down-stairs. 

A carriage was in readiness for us, and we dashed oflf 

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Gbeooby Abhton. 85 

with speed orer the pavements. The night was propi- 
tioos ; there wonld be no moon ontil late. 

Gregory's levity came to him as we approached the 
bnrial-gronnd. '' Literary resurrectionists I Gad I what 
a name I It is a dark, moldy speculation to say the 
least. Frank, do you feel varmy V* 

I was about to reply, when St John palled out a flask 
and handed it to Gregory. 

" Bah ! — such courage I I advise you to temperance 
until we have bagged our subject 

'^ If it is an order I obey," St. John rej^ed. 

"Yerj well, take it in that sense ; it is better." 

The flask was replaced. 

The road wound around the yard into a dense phie 
grove. Gregory turned his head merely toward the speo- 
tered tombst(mes, and urged the horses for the wood. At 
its entrance we alighted, and Gregory, handing me the 
reins, went forward to the bits. 

"There was a turn oflf hereaway I have noticed for 
pleasure parties," he said, "and as our visit is purely a 
ghostly pastime, it is weU to find it. Ah 1 here we are ; 
we will make fast." 

The implements were taken from the vehicle, and, 
headed by Gr^ory, we cautiously pushed for the grave. 
St. John had marked the place at the funeral, but still we 
groped some time in uncertainty before we were successful. 
St. John came to a stand and awaited for Gregory. 
"This is the grave," he whispered; "she has scarcely 
been covered eight hours." 

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36 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

" The easier digging," replied Gregory. " The silence is 
not to be broken until I speak. You to the foot, St. 
John. Rashleigh, you to the centre, and I will take the 
head. Now for it." 

There could be no place so near so much life where the 
grave-robber could work with better success. It was an 
adventure, too, wholly unsuspected by any one ; had the 
Mends of the dead even feared such sacrilege. The town 
so near, with so many opportunities of procuring subjects, 
would be naturally taken as the mart. 

It was past midnight as we silently bent all our ener- 
gies for the dead. We worked as men never worked 
before. We had reached the box, and had raised the cof- 
fin upon the brink of the grave as a slight, uncertain 
noise fell upon our ears. Could I have then seen my own 
ferce, the sight would probably have chilled me to d^th. 
I felt every drop of blood creeping back to my heart. I 
knew we were detected. I wished sincerely for immediate 
dissolution. I was paralyzed. 

A heavy hand was laid upon my shoulder. For an 
instant I miist have died. But a well-known whisper resus- 
citated me. 

" Push for the entrance, and await my orders. St. John, 
go to the railing, and see if all is well. I will watch 
the dead, and defend it with my life. Report instantly 
if there is trouble. Go I" 

We had separated for our posts hardly twenty yards 
before I heard the voice of Gregory, in solemn, unearthly 
tones, challenging : 

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Gregory Ashton. 37 

" Who is there ? Speak. Tht word ! or by the sacred 
dust of my mother, I will brain you I'' 

The words were scarcely uttered. I turned involun- 
tarily, ju3t as the moon slowly issued from behind a cloud, 
and saw the pick descending, crashing into the brain of 
a figure face to face with Gregory. 

A sharp, stifled cry of unearthly agony came from 
Gregory's lipis, and he fell with his victim to the ground. 
St. John and myself rushed to the spot. 

The moon had come out fully. There was a slight 
foam upon Gregory's lips, tinged with blood. 

In his arms, with his beautiful hair dank with blood and 
brains, and the pick undrawn, quivering yet from the fear- 
ful impetus — ^perfectly dead — lay Percy Dashwood. 

I know not what St. John did, but I wept. I could 
not have lived had I not. He must have been smitten 
with awful fear, at least, for neither of us had the man- 
hood to unlock the living from the dead. 

I always supposed Gregory received a slight apoplectic 
shock, as he discovered too late the intruder. 

Percy had probably planned this to test our courage. 
We never could reconcile it in any other way. 

Slowly Gregory recovered his consciousness, and when 
he arose he was perfectly calm, but there was not the 
slightest color in his face. 

" Words will not restore our friend. What we do must 
be done at once. The dead must be exchanged ; that is 
all." It was all Gregory said ; it was all that was neces- 
sary. It was that noble self-command, too, that saved us all. 

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38 Kir Eelyik's Eebnelb. 

The bag was filled, and then, as decently as the drcamr 
stances would allow, poor Percy was buried in the same 
grave. Not a word was spoken daring the solemn time, 
and, after the mold was replaced, and the graye mounded 
oyer, Gregory broke the silence : 

V Uncover.'^ 

Oar heads were^bared. 

** Here, in the presence of the Almighty Ood and the 
dead, yoa separately swear that yoor lives shall pay the for- 
feit if yoa reveal this damned deed of my hellish rashness.'' 

" I swear," was my response. 

St. John was silent. 

" Swear it I" thundered Gregory, " or by the living God 
this grave shall cover two," pointmg to the fresh mound, 
and flashing the worst passions the heart of man could 
cover from his fearfal eyes. The pick was raised. 

** I swear by all that's holy," shuddered St. John. 

" Tis well — saved," responded Gregory. 

What a return was ours I 

The dead girl represented poor Percy as well as herself. 

We were all present but one at her dissection. 

Circumstances favored the University in the mysterious 
disappearance of Percy. 

It was known he had left for town, and had not re- 
turned. Strange as it may appear, there was never an 
inquiry made at the College, for he had promised his sister 
he would see her upon his retwm ! 

It was finally supposed he had been murdered in the 
dty, and his body secreted. 

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Gbegoby Ashton. 89 

It would be useless to depict the agony of that honse. 
Edith was inconsolable, it nearly killed her. 

In a week from that awfol night, Gregory was pro- 
nounced hopelessly ill of a bram fever. Delirinm, which I 
feared would prove his traitor, had not the power to unlock 
those dread secrets. He was wild, but his mind was upon 
his mother and at home. He recognized no one, and yet 
would take medicine only from my hand. 

His illness was supposed to be the effect of Percy's dis- 
appearance, Miss Dashwood's situation and his late irr^u- 
lar life, by a few who knew him well. The physician said 
it was purely miTid. There were but two living persons 
that knew the real cause. 

St. John seemed but little affected. He knew he was 
safe from discovery, and contmuing in the light, trifling 
manner of living as before, showed his indifference and 
unfeeling sympathy. The most I feared from him would 
be dark hints thrown out in his maudlm excesses. But X 
never knew that he did. 

For several days Gregory lay in a comatose state, help- 
lessly gone, and life flickered fitfully with him. He had 
many warm and earnest inquirers, among them the stricken 
Mr. Dashwood. 

Poor man ! he looked so changed and subdued from his 
ordinary proud bearing. The silver of grief, too, had 
gathered rapidly upon his temples. 

The mother was crushed ; she never appeared in society 
again. It was whispered her mind was touched. 

At length, Gregory's granite strength began to rally, 


by Google 

40 ^ Err Kelvin's Kbknels. 

and with it reason returned fiilly, triiimpliantly, yet with 
gentle steps. 

I had been by his side through the night, gazing with 
mixed admiration and melancholy upon the smitten oak ; 
beyond the power of man, but not of God. As daylight 
crept through the glass, he raised his head. ** Frank, I 
am so thirsty, I have been wandering through the Great 
Sahara, over those sterile burning sands after my mother. 
A frowning abomination with blood streaming from his 
great one eye, told me I should find her at the end. But, 
Frank, I am sane now. I am here in our room. Mother 
is dust, and Percy is in his untimely grave. You are here 
— and — ^how is it with the poor Godrsmitten family ?'' He 
turned his eye upon me, threw out his hand, and burst into 

I besought him to remain quiet, and told him they bore 
the blow excellently. 

"And Edith," he whispered — ^the only time he ever 
syllabled her name so feelingly. 

For once I equivocated. 

I thought then^ and I think so still, it was a sin forgiven 
as soon as committed. 

" She has been here to know how you are," I replied. 
I watched the effect. 

There was a hard compressing of the lips, a slight grat- 
ing of the teeth, and a groan. Gregory recovered. 

The whole College rejoiced. Perhaps I should except one. 

It was a mournful summer, but it came and went, and 
our end was nigh. 

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Gbeooby Abhton. 41 

The appointments were given out. Gregory had the 
Yaledictory. He pleaded in vain to be excused, for his 
heart was crushed. It was not in study or fame. It was 
with Percy. 

The last day of duties came. An unnatural look 
became Gregory ill. I rallied him. He shook his 

"Frank, I have fought Life's battle hard, but I am 
conquered. The tree is riven by the wrath of Heaven I 
I bow and wait." 

As Gregory's name was called to bid the class adieu, 
there was a stillness unreal in the vast assembly. 

With a slow and measured tread, yet with all his grace 
and dignity, he appeared. There was a slightly bronzed, 
sickly hue upon his cheek, but his eye was piercing, ftdl of 
its old beauty. 

There was not one smgle eye of that whole multitude 
but what was levelled and chained upon him. His was 
upon his classmates. He knew no other audience. He 
was talking toUh them, to them, and for them only. 

Full of beauty, strength and brevity, his sentences fell 
from his lips deeply musical. As he gathered to the pero- 
ration, it was hardly the voice of a mortal. Concentrating 
all his old energies and spirit, he flew rapidly from feeling 
to pathos, deep and wringing. 

" And now, classmates I the word that separates us 
from each other — our alma mater, and its golden, melan- 
choly memories, is upon my lips. I would it were not 
mine to utter. But there are minds that can suffer and 

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42 Kit Kelvin's KimNELS. 

endure, fonned by the Almighty God, to do penance for- 
ever. Whfle I utter it — ^while my eyes are resting upon 
you for the last time — ^I behold a vacancy. 

" Full of youth and beauty, and rare attainments, he 
has ' gone down to darkness and the worm,' in mystery. 
While we gaze for his presence, we weep — weepmg we 
mourn bitterly, utterly and forever. Farewell I" 

Staggering back as if smitten with a sudden and awful 
vision — ^his right hand still lifted, and his finger pointing in 
air — ^Ms lips colorless — ^Ms eye set and glassy, staring at 
vacancy — Gr^ory fell upon the stage. 

It was a fearful scene. 

There was one wild, piercing scream that went up from 
the audience — not of man, but woman. 

Who was it? 

You have heard the low moan of the elements before 
the heavy storm bursts upon you. Such was of that 

I saw strong, proud men with large gushing streams 
running down upon their beards, their heads bowed, them- 
selves crushed with sympathy. 

We feared a relapse for Gregory. Yet it did not come. 

He told me solemnly — and the shudder is upon me yet, 
whenever I think of it — ^that as he pronounced the word 
Farewell, he saw Percy Dashwood in that vacant place, 
with tht gory pick in his brain ! 

We were to bid onr adieus at the Dashwoods*. The mo- 
ther we did not see. The father appeared a moment, ex- 
tended his hand — speechless — pressed a farewell, and retired. 

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Gbeooby Ashtok. 48 

Edith was alone with ns. 

Gregory approached her as she was leaning in the em- 
brasure of the window. 

" And now, Miss Dashwood — Edith — ^I must bid you 
adieu. In the loss you have sustamed there is no recom- 
pense, I am fuUy convinced, but in God. But I will be 
to you a brother. Though absent from you, I will protect 
you — pray for you — ^yea, weep for you ; and should there 
arise a hand to molest you, so help me God, his life shall 
be the penalty 1" 

She turned and fell into his arms. 

^'Brother !^ she murmured, but it took her life blood 
from her. She sobbed in fearful agony, and Gregory's 
eyes dropped hot, burning tears upon her head. 

I stole from the room, hearirbroken. 

I know not the end of that separation. It was too 
sacred for inquiry. 

As we wound up the walk, he turned one more look. 

I saw a pale, beautiful face resting upon a snow-white 
hand, still waving an adieu, but the motion was even that 
of utter sorrow. 

It was the last time I ever saw Edith Dashwood. 

The year following we spent in travel. 

Gregory sacredly kept his word to Edith. She knew 
of his whereabouts. 

" It is only for a time, Frank ! We mortals have our 
race to run — our part to act upon this shifting stage, and 
then we drop and are dropped. Why not ? Others must 
come, for we grow stale, and then, you know, we get 

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44 Err EsLym's Kernels. 

weary — ^yes, very weary — ^but we rest in death, like an in- 
fant pillowed npon its mother's breast." 

With all this religious feeling courting familiarity with 
the great leyeller, Gregory was inconsistent. Not con- 
stantly, but at times, when memory crushed him, he 
would drown it in the wine cup. It injured him. It was 
girdling the oak. 

But the last great scene is over with him. He has 
gone to Judgment. I follow, and what will be said of me ? 

Let us have charity. 

If one ever lived that should be pardoned for sins com- 
mitted, it was Gregory. Yet how small man's opinion 
appears in the eye of the Great God I 

If there is a more unfortunate situation for the mind 
than that of unsatisfied desires, and even these commend- 
able, and yet thoroughly excluded by high feelings of 
propriety, untoward circumstances and evil chances, I 
have yet to be convinced. The very persons thus po- 
sitioned are generally the highly educated and the well- 
bred, for a common mind is never alive to the nicer feelings 
of honor. Enwrapped in its own ignorance, its attendants 
invariably selfishness, distrust and low craft, all results 
are alike slimed over with a disgusting indifference, 
having no apprehensions or feelings of uneasiness to sting 
or harass. 

Unfortunate Gregory I his thoughts were moulded in 
silver, real and unalloyed. He demanded of his mind a 
tribute thoroughly honorable, without a loop-hole for 
reproach to dart its forked tongue to hiss, even. 

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Gbeoobt Abhtok. 45 

That he loved Edith I never doubted. Had it not been 
that his hand was stained with her brother's blood, I think 
he would have married her, despite his fear that a cnrse 
might follow. Bat after that fearful night of tragedy, his 
heart was riven into a thousand pieces as perfectly as the 
gnarled oak is splintered by heaven's electricity. At that 
time he buried Edith too. 

St. John, when he left the University, entered the Law 
, School. It was merely to kill time, and to execute his 
plans. Do you know what they were ? 

Wait and see ! 

Agreeable to promise, Gregory passed the autunm with 
me. As winter approached, I returned with him to Wood- 
lawn ; and as spring opened, we went abroad. . 

I fancied it would benefit Gregory. We visited every 
place of interest from the Bock of Gibraltar to Moscow. 
We were absent eighteen months. 

I knew he wrote to Miss Bashwood occasionally, but I 
was not aware he had replies from her until one day, at 
Berlin, I accidentally saw him intent upon a letter bearing 
an American post-mark. It was very full, in a smaU, 
delicate hand. As he turned it, I detected the name, 
Edith, at the end. ^ 

It contained disagreeable news, for his conduct showed 
it. It was particularly so, for be afterwards told me. 

We had arrived at London, on our way to Liverpool to 
take the first packet for the States. 

St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey even scarcely 
interested him. He was in bitter thought, and had 


by Google 

46 Kir Kelvin's Kebkels. 

returned with me to our rooms in Gheapside, silent and 

" Frank ! do yon know that St. John is teasmg Edith 
for an union ? The jackal that feeds upon the dead would 
be a better suitor I'* 

I was thunderstruck. A miserable feeling of horror 
stole over me. There was a foreboding of bitter evil — 
of future agony — ^that made me restless. Gregory saw it. 

** Frank I I am he who is to finish all this. It is a 
malignant disease I battle with, but I shall effectually 
crush it, mangle, and kOl it eternally. Believe me. To 
Him, fearfully impious as I am, I look for the strength 
to meet and conquer but a few more scenes in fife ; say 
two, and add th£ one to it and it only makes three. 

He walked to the glass. 

'' I see a great change in my manhood since the night 
we dug, and I am fully convinced earth possesses no place 
that can thoroughly interest me. I am going home to 
watch, for the night is upon me, and it will be dark — very 

Those who go down to the sea have their perils as well 
as pleasures. We met them. An obstinate gale broke 
over us, an^dismay and confusion covered us. We lost all 
our standing rigging, our captain and all of the crew 
but two. Whoever has heard the agonizing wail of the lost 
at sea can imagine the feelings of four poor, helpless 
mortals left alone in midocean, upon a miserable raft of the 
broken wreck. We survived — ^how, God knows — ^without 
food or water for five days. 

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Gbbgoey Ashton. 47 

Strong in his reeolution, unflinching in his faith, Gregory 
consoled ns with the belief we should yet be saved. It 
was not until hope deferred had sickened me to a mad 
delirium that the prophetic Gregory thundered in my ear 
with the Toice of fading strength : 

"Savedl Lookr 

I raised my head; and bearing down upon us was oui 
salvation — a ship homeward bound. I was too weak to 
cry out, but I felt a ghastly grin fighting its slim way into 
the muscles of my face. 

I expected Gregory, upon our arrival, would certainly 
visit C . But he did not. He went to Wood- 

Before we separated he exacted from me a promise that, 
in case it was necessary, I would devote six more months 
to his company. He had laid his plans for certain exigen- 
cies that would probably occur ; he said : " I think I 
can say it without the word probably. And now Frank, 
adieu. You know that is equal to a blessing — ^to 

Two months after, my office door opened and Gregory 
threw himself into my arms. He kissed me. 

"I have come for you," he said, in a hoarse 

His sudden and unexpected arrival startled me. But 
when I met his flashing eye, his marble face and cold hand, 
I knew the demon had begun his work. 

•* Can you imagine my errand ?" 


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48 Kit Kelvin's Kebnels. 

" Then may Ood help us — ^man cannot. Here I read 

He took from his memorandum-book a letter and handed 
it to me. I opened it, trembling, and read. It was blotted 
and tearnstamed. 

DsAB Gbkgobt : 

If you love me— come— Oh, God I Is it so f 


As I finished, Gregory thundered : 

"Listen. I have seen Edith. Her poor heart is 
torn and dead. She cannot live. Can you imagine 
the Almighty finishing a scoundrel? His work is 
perfect. St. John has been soliciting Edith's love. 
After all manner of artifice, stratagem and pleading — 
finding her heart irrevocably another's — asks her if she 
wishes to wed the mv/rderer of her o%bn hr other ! and then 
tells her of that deed ; and worse — ^that I knowingly, 
willfully and cruelly beat him to earth, with his supplicatmg 
voice imploring mercy for EditKs sake. 

" Frank Kashleigh ! I am stark mad. I could cut, carve 
and hew, strip, hack and saw every inch of that recreant 
hell-hound from his scalp to the sole of his feet." 

If you have been in a madhouse and seen there a strong 
man writhe under his curse, you must know something of 
this scene. 

Edith Dashwood died in such a place two days before 
Gregory reported himself at the tribunal of High Heaven 
for Judgment. 


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Gregory Ashton. 49 

Yon haye seen a tree riyen by the lightning — peeled, 
scathed and dead ? 

So was Gregory. 

He continued : 

" The Tillaln has gone abroad. He sailed four weeks 
since. I would pledge all my earthly riches to msure the 
safety of that ship into port. Yon know 1 follow. Are 
you willing to accompany me ? It will not be six months. 
Oh ! no. I think half is all that will be necessary. But 
he is to he fowid f 

The meeting between Gregory and Edith must have 
been beyond the scope of language to describe. He gave 
me to understand it was heartrending, and forbore the 
details. She was made ftilly acquainted with all the 

They never met again. 

In a week fh)m that time we had sailed. 

St. John had gone to Paris. 

Gregory Ashton toas on his trade. 

The day we landed at Havre the cars ran us into Paris. 
We were at our old quarters before midnight. At Des 
Princes, Rue Richelieu. 

Once upon the ground of hope, Gregory's calmness 
rallied surprisingly ; though the last real smile I saw upon 
hia face was two hours before the homicide ; the next was 
two moments before his eyes were set forever. 

To the Prefect of Police we made known our wants. 
After a slight delay the answer was returned : 

*^ Half an hour since he was at Frascart^s.'' 

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50 Ejt EjcLYUf's Kebhsls. 

Gregory bowed, and a gleam ot perfect delight flaaked 
from his eyes. 

We went out. 

** Within half an hour of Mm. Ha I ha ! We are 
extremely fortunate, Frank." 

We hurried to Paris's great gambling hell — ^Frascartd's. 
Once in, Gregory surreyed the busy inmates with the 
sweep of an eagle. Suddenly I saw his eye pause. It 
grew frightfully brilliant. His chest heayed, and his 
hands were so fast clenched the nails scoriated the flesh, 
eyen to blood. 

I followed his eye. 

Seated before a table, deep in hazard, s^t Henry St. 

Gregory approached opposite his yictim, and stood with 
arms folded like a pillar of granite, his fixed gaze bent 
upon him. 

St. John lost. 

He threw up his head with a Sacrd upcm his lips, and 
his eye fell upon Gregory. His jaw fell. The cards 
dropped from his paralysed fingers, and eyen the flush of 
wine forsook his cheeks. 

There, face to face, eye to eye with Ashton, he knew 
his fate. 

** Cowardly yillain I" Thundered Gregory, ** Do you 
know me ?" 

I do not think that twelye hours after, with certain 
death upon him, he felt any worse than when these words 
broke upon his ear. 

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GsBOOBT Abhtov. 51 

He essayed to syllable a reply, bat his teeth only 

" I will wait for a return of reason/' coolly continued 
Gregory; and, turning to a few upturned faces about him, 
he added : 

** Merely personal, gentlemen. An affair easily settled. 

Such scenes were not uncommon to the frequenters of 
the place, and the interruption was immediately understood 
and forgotten. 

It was settled. In half an hour Gregory was busy with 
pen and paper at our rooms. 

As he finished, he drew his chair nearer to me. 

" Frank, you will take charge of my effects. In my 
case you will find all necessary directions. Here is the 

I took it, but I felt that I was watching with the 

"You had better bury me here. It is immaterial 
where I sleep, so that I am not disturbed. No epitaph — 
merely my name." 

I Covered my face. 

" Let us have no secret, Frank. I speak plainly. St. 
John is a dead shot. I am not bad. He has his life to 
shoot for. I my yictim. The winner is the better nerred, 

Gregory slept soundly as though he was rocked <moe 
more to sleep by his mother's care. 
It was full broad day before he awpke. 
I had been astir two hours. 

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62^ Kit Eelvik's 'Kkbseul 

If I hare mmeryed j(m, J,, with this MS., — ^I haTe 
bat one more scene to describe. It mnst be told. 

All things were in readiness, and at ten o'clock we were 
at the Bois de Boulogne with a sorgeon. 

I rallied myself with all the self-command I ever pos- 
sessed as the pistols were levelled. 

St. John looked fearfhllj haggard. Gregory pale, bat 

The fire of passion that had so long been sapping his 
Titality had gone out forerer. He was perfectly composed 
as he shook my hand with his old warmth. 

I heard but one sharp report, so instantaneous were 
the shots. 

St. John leaped up with a frightful yell; his pistol 
dropped and he fell heayily upon the ground ; his hands 
clutched agamst his face. 

Gregory wheeled and fell into my arms. He had been 
shot through the right lung. 

" I now forgive him as I hope to be forgiven.'^ He said 
this distmctly. 

St. John was terribly disfigured. 

His left eye had been torn out, and the upper part of his 
nose shot away. 

His exclamation an hour after, as he died in untold 
agony, was characteristic of the man : 

.« What a damned lookmg corpse!" 

As the surgeon was ezamining Gregory, I asked if the 
wound was dangerous. 

"JMbf^,'' he replied. 

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Gbegoby AsHToir. 68 

"It is welcome,'* articulated Gregory, 

It was seven in the evening. A change— an uunistak- 
able change was npon Ashton^ 

He threw out his hand to me. 

"Frank, yonr oath ia no longer bindmg. Ah t how 
pleasant it is to know this checkered life is waning. I am 
perfectly free from all pain.'' 

His eye suddenly lit up with its old brilliance. "The 
threshold is passed! 1 can see my mother, Edith and 
Percy. There is no pick in his brain now. Prank. Good 
night P 

I bent over him eagerly — ^my tears dropping fast upon 
his hand. 

He was gone I Gregory I 

In Pere la Chaise, rising above some of the monumental 
stones, is a granite block. 

All there is upon it are two words : 

Gbsgobt Ashtok. 

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Tom Bolfs Nevvy. 

It should be an apothegm, that every man has a skele- 
ton, a grinning, ghastly skeleton, dangling in his door-way 
or business. If by his fire-dde, it may be his companion, 
a wayward child, or constant sickness. If in his business, 
disappointment, ill-starred fortune, or complete failure. In 
some cases, this hideous array is blown away, bone by 
bone, until it disappears ; but in others, sadly, it brings up 
the last of the funereal procession. Perhaps the latter pre- 
ponderates, niustrative of this axiom, the following brief 
stpry may be pertinent. 

Tom Bolt was an old, retired sea-captain. He had never 
married ; had accumulated a fortune upon the waters, and 
was coupling otium cum digmtatCy as far as his salt notions 
induced him. He had been a sailor, " man and boy,** for 
over forty years, and was a perfect specimen of his class. 
With a large person, he had a voice deep, slightly raspy; 
trained, no doubt, by continuous combats with gales and 
salt water. He could be irascible on a short notice ; but 
ordinarily provoked good cheer wherever his presence was 
found. He had a dog, a cat, a pet-parrot, and a house- 
keeper. Charitable institutions had made themselves 
vampires npon him, and extracted benevolent sums from 
him, from year to year. To this he did not object ; but he 


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Tom Bolt's Nbwy. 85 

/earned tot some one of his own to bestow his property 
apon, when he had accomplished his pilgrimage. But here 
the old sailor was nnfortonate. He knew of no one whom 
he conld daim. His relatiTes had nerer been nnmerons, 
Mid those that had been, had passed away in the life 
straggle. He had looked abont for a prciigi, bnt had 
neTer foond one to fill the racancj. Nomeroos appHca- 
tions had been made bj sordid, selfish oaes, for their 
weakly, indolent representatires ; yet the eye of the mari- 
ner always discovered a lack of sense, manhood, or bright- 
ness, that caused disa{^intment on the one hand, and a 
feeling of justice on the other. Tom Bolt was constant 
at chnrch, made hearty responses, and was a pillar of 
moneyed strength, if not <tf righteous examine to the so- 
ciety. His cellar always hdd a choice sel^tion of old 
wines, St. Croix and Jamaica, which were by no means 
q)ared whenever a visitor dropped in upon him. Every- 
body loved him, tor he had a kind word for the poor — also 
money — a cheerful salutation for a friend, a warm welcome 
for children, and a song or a yarn wh^ occasion required. 
And this was Tom Bolt 

But he had a skeleton. I will tell you what it was. 

Some fifteen years before he moored upon land, a 
nephew bearing his own name (he always called him 
newy) he had taken to initiate into the service. He was 
a wild, reckless boy, heedless of his interests, and deaf to 
counsel He was put into the forecastle, and received no 
favors fbom the cabin. To a youngster, this discipline was 
mysterious and unnatural, and the young blade made 

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56 Ejt Kelyin'b Eebitels. 

severe trouble for his uncle. Yet, as the last of his. 
race, he was indulged by pardon, and sometimes bj a pal- 
pable oyerlooking of his glaring faults. This acted upon 
him as encouragement ; and rather than diminishing his 
flagitious acts, they increased. His elder shipmates ad- 
yised him to look well to his reckoning, or the old uncle 
would shipwreck him, without a tarpaulin or toggery. But 
it did not avail. 

There was no settled malice on the part of the boy. It 
was youthful spite and indifference. To activity he added 
more than the ordinary amount of intelligence for one of 
his years ; and were it not for 2k seeming treachery, he 
would have been rapidly {»*omoted. 

Finally, with patience exliausted, and ire pred(xninant, 
the old sailor, as his vessel ran into Havre, sent for the 
relation. He came with a familiar rush into the cabin, and 
stood covered. 

" Newy 1 doff your tarpaulin. You are wrecking every 
inch of your cargo of manners, if you ever shipped them." 

The newy saw at one glance there was a determination 
that augured poorly for him. 

" Newy, you are the only son of as brave a sailor as 
ever went down among the sesrweeds ; but there are 
barnacles all over y(m ; and you are more of a piratical 
craft than a friend. I took you to make a captain ; but 
you have run on a leewshore, and here you are at Havre 
alone, and without friends. Do you understand ?" 

" Ay, sir 1 you are going to heave me overboard.'* 

"What else can I do with a bad cargo in a gale? 

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Tom Bolt's Newy. 67 

Newy, you are hereafter to shin aloft elsewhere than on 
the ' Peacock/ Go forward, and then ashore. If you 
ever think better of your course, come to me, and I will 
overhaul you once more." 

And so the newy left. 

Some three years after, the uncle heard that the newy 
had met his end. He fell from aloft, and his absence was 
not noticed until it was too late to return for a search. 

This item of intelligence affected the old sailor. He 
blamed himself, his rashness, and his want of greater pa- 
tience. But it could not be otherwise ; and he endeavored 
to console himself that pure justice had been righteously 

So Tom Bolt was alone ; and this was his skeleton. 

Occasionally the housekeeper would be the repository 
of his reflections. They generally found utterance at night, 
when his paper was read, and the dog barked in his sleep, 
and old Tabby purringly rubbed against his boots. Such 
a home-scene, illustrative of comfort and confidence, awak- 
ened the dormant affections of the mariner, and his con- 
science bit him to exclamations. 

" Betty I I was a cruel sea-dog, full of bark. No leave 
of absence in my hull. I see it now. And here I am, old 
and alone : no kin to care for the old hulk : laid up in 
ordinary : thnbers shivered and dead-lights knocked in. 
Well, Tom Bolt I you can't cruise your life over again, but 
you must reef and lay-to. Avast I Betty I a little hot 
water, sugar, and nutmeg : I'll take a night-cap and tun^ 


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68 Krr Kelvin's Keenels. 

Dominie Mace was the rector of Saint Stephen's 
Church, a time-honored edifice of good churchmen, where 
Tom Bolt bent his head, and uttered his " Good Lord 
deliver us," with unction. He was a good lirer (the par- 
son) and fell ill with the gout. For a time he clung to 
his surplice ; but disease battled sorely with him, and 
finally yanquished the victim. It was a heavy afiOiction ; 
for with him were associated many baptisms of infants, 
now his parishioners, and many excellent sermons of easy 

Tom Bolt said, the grave covered a cargo of goodness ; 
but it was shipped to be discharged in a better port, with- 
out duty. 

It was a long time the parish looked for a successor. 
Many were tried, but found wanting ; and the service was 
beginning to be thinly attended. 

One Saturday night, the stage-coach rattled to the 
door of the village inn a well-dressed gentleman, who pos- 
sessed the outlines of sanctity. To a comely form he 
added a fine face, touched with study paleness, a bright, 
dark eye, a gentle voice, and quiet manners. 

I said he had the appearance of sanctity. If profes- 
sions can be known by style of dress, I would further 
remark, he was a clergyman. And so it proved. 

In a small, sermon-like hand, he wrote his name, Bev. 
T. Bolton. As it happened, the landlord was of Saint 
Stephen's creed, and no sooner saw the entry upon his 
book, than he addressed himself for an acquaintance. 

** You will e^^cijse me, sir ; but perceiving you a Reve- 

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Tom Bolt's Nbwt, 69 

rend, will yea inform me if yon are of the Episcopal 
order f'' 

" I am, sir.'' 

" Then, sir, if you could be induced to officiate for us 
to-morrow as we are without a rector, it would be thank- 
lully receired,'' 

" Is the vacancy temporary ?" 

" No, sir : our good parson died some two months since, 
and we have no one in view." 

The intelligence was carried to the ears of the more 
ardent, and before nine o'clock Mr. Bolton was waited 
upon, and consented to discharge the duties of his profes- 
sion on the morrow. 

There was a full attendance, and the organ pealed a lit- 
tle louder and a little longer, in honor of the stranger. 
None read the service with more feeling and pathos than 
Mr. Bolton. With his soft and musical voice, a demeanor 
quiet, and a zeal sincere, he had made a deep and agree- 
able impression upon his audience before he pronounced his 
text, which was from the Sermon on the Mount : ** Bles- 
sed are the merdful, for they shall obtain mercy." 

If his reading had been faultless, his style was in conso- 
nance with his manner. Ardent, meaning, sincere, and 
convincing, he poured out the feelings of a good heart to 
eager listeners. It was full of charity ; teaching patience, 
endurance, and sympathy. ' 

With 'mildness, yet determination, in his eye, his hand 
upraised, his head thrown forward, he gained one heart by 
this sentence : " Cry ye charity without its possession ? 

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60 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

Show ye sympathy behind hypocrisy? Teach ye love 
without affection? Exemplify patience and meekness 
without ownership ? Ah 1 my friends, ye cannot. Sur- 
rounded as ye may be by worldly cares and annoyances, it 
is well to remeipber thei/ are transitory. A year, a month, 
a week, a day, nay, one short hour may extricate you from 
all these, and then, have you the gentle principle of 
mercy to actuate you? How pleasant, how soothing, 
how delightful I Your feelings will be peaceful, and your 
actions Christ-like. 

" Have you a wayward son ? deal gently with him : a 
mother's tear has saved a soul from perdition. Is your 
counsel abandoned? endure and pardon. It is merciful. 
This is mercy. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall 
obtain mercy." 

Tom Bolt's lip quivered, his eye filled, and his head 
bowed to weakness. There was a subdued feeling sympa- 
thetic with all as the solemn benediction was pronounced ; 
and while yet the parson was bowed, and the multitude 
were dispersing silently and with whispers, the old sailor 
retained his seat. At length he went forward, and taking 
the hand of the preacher, earnestly invited him to accom- 
pany him home, 

"I am alone, sir, and your words have called up a 
memory. I would like a common chat with you, and I do 
not see why you cannot accommodate me." 

" With pleasure, sir I" 

And so it was settled. Mr. Bolton was Tom Bolt's 

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Tom Bolt's Newt. 61 

The afternoon seryice compared well with that of the 
morning, and a yestry meeting was called to consider the 
propriety of action in endeayoring to secure the perma- 
nent services of Mr. Bolton. 

It was Sabbath evening, and the old sailor was happy 
in administering comfort to his guest. Betty had retired, 
and they were alone. 

Former life-scenes were called up, and the mariner had 
recoonted many perils of the deep, which were listened to 
with interest. 

" But, sir," continued Bolt, " I have one scene in my 
life to place before you. It will do me good, and maybe 
you can give me some cheer to uphold me in my decision. 

" I had a newy, sir ; he was a good sailor, for a boy ; 
but he was troublesome, ay, mutmons. He wouldn't stow 
away any advice, and showed a clean pair of heels at all 
times. I know I should have had more patience ; but 
then, an old sailor, you know, has very little of this. I 
cut him adrift ; I thought it would do him good ; but I 
told him if he ever thought better of his course, to come 
back to me, and I would overhaul him for inspection. 
But, sir," (a pause, in which the old captain looked stead- 
ily into the fire), "he's past a return-voyage. I heard he 

fell from aloft in the English Channel, and was left " 

(another pause, in which the relator went to the door to 
accommodate old Tabby from without). " Poor newy 1 
Well, here I am alone. Now, how should you, divine as 
you are, feel in such water ? Did I do right ?" earnestly 
inquired the gld sailor, turning to Mr. Boltoi^. 

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62 Kit E^elyin's Eebnels. 

The answer was to be the tarning^point. If in the 
afl&rmatiye, Tom Bolt had made up his mmd to drop it if 
possible and consider the cruelty no more. On the other 
hand, if it should be a doubtfhl response, he had concluded 
to ask a separate petition in prayer from the parson, and 
endeavor to heal it in that way. 

" Beyond a doubt, sir. You did not flog ; perhaps you 
should have done it : yet the ' cat' is crushing to humanity. 
You reproved him only by words. He was extremely un- 
kind and ungrateful. To his disobedience he added disre- 
spect, which tended to mutiny, and really had a bad influ- 
ence over the forecastle. Your course was righteous. It 
did the youngster good, and although at the time it seemed 
to him cruel, yet it was just the discipline he needed. It 
was a salutary correction.'' 

Tom Bolt was staring with wonder. 

" And he, the nephew, is here now to thank his kind 
uncle for just such a course ; for it has been the means of 
his reformation ; and all the good I can do in my profession 
is dated back to the time you cut me adrift at Havre." 

The old sailor had jumped, dropping his pipe and 
spectacles, and throwing the diaur to the farther end of the 
room, had the newy in his embrace. "Newyl my 
newy I Yes it is I" at the same time patting him gently 
upon his back. 

The scene was short, but boisterous and effectual. 

" I have returned, uncle, for inspection." 

^'And I will insure you to the port of heaven in a 
double-reefed topsail-gale," shouted Tom Bolt. 

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— v^^ 

'J. * A, . .■ i; . " .. 

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Tom Bolt's Newy. 68 

"Nevry, you shall be Rector of St. Stephen's, and this 
is your home. Gad I I 'm in port once more, in luck." 

There was Just one bar of the sailor's hornpipe shuffled 
upon the floor, to the detriment of Tabby's tail 

And so blew away Tom Bolt's skeleton. 

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A. Pass at our Improvements. 

A PROVERB, ancient as the days of Zeno, reads : " We 
are constituted with two ears and one month, that we may 
hear more and say less." It would be well were this of- 
tener remembered ; and peradventure, dear Kmek,* you 
may, thinking me garrulous, rank me as one who sees 
motes, yet recognizes no beams ; but I alluded slightly to a 
subject in my last paper which I wonder has not engaged 
the pen of some matter-of-fact writer, and of which I would 
fain speak more at large. 

By the way, in your last " Table," speaking of an article 
as being "too interminably long" for insertion, reminds 
me of a ^ d^esprit which had existence some years ago. 
A widow, whose patience and Christian spirit had been 
severely tested by the conduct of her several sons, had, 
after much trouble and more anxiety, made arrangements 
for her youngest — ^a wild, rollicking, reckless sprig, in 
whom was combined the essence of all species of roguery — 
in a store at a neighboring village. Hither, after many 
and repeated desires that he should strive to make glad 
the heart of his mother, the youth was sent, bearing a 
letter to the trader breathing sentiments which only a 
mother could express. He had been absent a fortnight, 
and the fond parent was anticipating the success of her 

• PabllBhed in jr«t^0lr«r5odk«r, May, 1849. 

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A Pass at oub Impbovements. 65 

boy, fining the future with gladdened projects, and creating 
him, by the diflferent stages of promotion, a rear-admiral 
of dry-goods, when the very object of her thoughts pre- 
sented himself before her. His face was sorrowful, and 
his appearance like one greatly humbled and deeply 
troubled.^ The mother's heart beat quick, and with its 
pulsations went the visions of advancement and happiness 
for her son which she had been quietly enjoying a moment 
before. " Alas, my son I what new trouble has come 
upon you ? Your presence troubles me I" 

" Indeed, dear mother, I am sorry to say Mr. 

does not want me any longer f And beneath the grave 
exterior^ a lurking smile played bo-peep with the appear- 
ance of sadness. 

At this plain announcement the mother could no longer 
restrain either her tears or her despair. Bitterly she 
wept and deplored the supposed misconduct of her son, 
who cruelly permitted her to bemoan the misfortune until 
his wayward spirit was fully gratified, and then coolly in- 
formed his mother that he spoke of stature rather than time ! 

Now, with brevity ever in viCV, permit me to introduce 
you to a few suggestions upon Present Improvements — 
the bearing they have upon the condition, as well as the 
influence which through them is exercised upon the coun- 
try. These remarks are but the skeleton to the subject, 
which is susceptible of muscle and flesh, had you the time 
to digest or the space to print them ; but I neither have 
the vanity to suppose my sentiments " California dust," or 
boldness to ask of you many pages to display thenu 

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66 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

As preyioosly remarked, I advocate advancement and aJI 
wise schemes that claim alliance to progress ; yet am not so 
zealous in the advocacy thereof as to hazard the domestic 
hap^nness of quiet fireddes, the innocency of retirement, 
and that oHtm cum dignUaie with which man was 
originally endowed. Self-interest, the prospect of rapid 
accnmalation, and fame (which is but ephemeral), seem in 
fact the secret springs and pendulums to most of the pre- 
sent-day benefits ; and as it regards real amelioration, 
half and more result in temporary deceptions and actual 
humbugs. Hoodwinked by the cunning artifice of un- 
scrupulous experimentizers, we are lost in the whirl and 
confusion of the chaos of mortification and personal dis- 
tress. There is no end to the dance of the wizard. 
Encircled as we are by the strange medleys of the nine- 
teenth century, we are almost inclined to believe that the 
days of enchantment have existence, and that the " Knight 
of the Sorrowful Figure" is abroad, from whom emanates 
the infection of madness, and that all the world are fight- 
ing "windmills" and breaking "wine-skins" in their 
chivalric delirium. However cool and philosophic the 
contemplator, while he looks he is fascinated ; the whirl- 
wind and the storm have embraced him, and giddy and 
intoxicated, he reels into the very excesses upon which he 
smiled in calm indifference. 

Mania is everywhere. You detect it in the restless eye, 
the pallid cheek, the nervous step. It is whispered to us 
in breeze and gale, wafted to us by every stream. Like 
an ungovernable harpy, wounding us with its filthy 


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A Pass at oub Impbovbments. 67 

beak, and snatching from before ns the food that nonrishes 

Those of your readers who date their natiyitj in town 
cannot regard this unsatisfactory humonizing — if I may 
be allowed this seeming contradictory phrase— of dty and 
conniay by steam, as a matter of interest. They hare 
seen the countryman, unsophisticated as he is, but they 
Uttie dream of that qoiet hearthstone arotind which 
cluster innocence and yirtue and the " peace of the good 
man " which give him this sim^^ity, this confidence in his 
fellow. They may smile at his awkwardness and wonder at 
his apparent stupidity, yet the good and the finer feelings 
are there, which they neither know nor court. Is it not 
better that this nncerity, this plainness, this freed<»n from 
artifidality, should continue established at the hearth- 
stone 7 Is it not better that this quiet, this yirtue, should 
remain unmolested, uninterrupted 7 Can it be, so long as 
steam is the currency, the food, drink, the " wherewithal 
to clothe us V^ Kor can these same denizens reward with 
much interest the existence of improvements, the parhelia 
of that sun that shall illumine hoih. city and country alike. 
But that this is, we hare eyidences north, south, east, 
west, and all about. The road, and marshy pass and 
lonesome wood have scarcely a pilgrim to awake sleeping 
echoes now. The iron race-horse has proved the valorous 
knight, and with its fearful Impetus defies all competition. 

That the railway is a great and unquestionable progress 
in the w(xM of improvements no one disputes ; but that 
evils follow its benefits is conspicuous, and but tend^ to 

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68 Kit Kelvin's Xebnels. 

proye that '' an inevitable dualism bisects nature" (as Emer- 
son says in his excellent paper on " Compensation.") And 
that directly or indirectly, improvements are adverse to the 
continuance of old customs as well as to the morals in the 
country. The former, like spent manhood, has become 
superannuated and toothless ; its voice is already feeble, 
and the watchers around its bed are carefully preparing to 
close its eye. With its flickering breath go the many 
elements, which, united, have added that sterling worth 
and nobility of character that have caused a throne to con- 
fess its vigorous and insuperable ability. Is there no voice 
sufiGiciently loud ; no arm sufficiently strong, to hail and 
hold this wayward and insinuating spirit ? Is there no 
antidote sufficiently powerful ; no prescriber sufficiently 
skillful to stay the course of this disease which riots in the 
grand arteries ? Alas I primeval customs ; those old land- 
marks I like the gods of Sepharvaim, where are they ? 
They savor of the Past too much 1 Like an old, familiar 
air : at the same time it is adnured for its rich melody, it 
is neglected merely because it is ancient. Its soft cadence 
does not feed the soul ; for it is made common by the 
thousand and one voices that have so often echoed its 
sweetness. But the Past and its customs have history. 
"As the mountains round about Gilboa," so will they yet be 
to the Present, when the latter shall have become fagged 
and jaded with forced and unmeaning novelties, and the 
" crying for wine in the streets " shall have ceased. The 
Present is but the child of the Past ; let, then, the parent 
be venerated I And let our examples be wise, as well as 

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A Pass at oub Impbovements. 69 

our actions good, for our works will follow ns. The grave 
is the veil between oar Indiyidnal selves and the living ; 
bat to this noisome place go not our handiworks. Let 
them prove a wreath that shall encircle our names with a 
blaze of glory. 

The rapid transit from one part of the Union to another, 
attracts not alone the man of basiness and the gentleman 
of pleasure ; but the graceful deceiver — the polished 
destroyer — ^the ingrained villain. It is easy for one expe- 
rienced in victimizing, to pursue his iniquities in a populous 
city ; but it is as easy among the unsuspecting, among the 
few, where the boldness of his operations serve as a sort of 
safeguard. Statistics acquaint us of an impressive augmen- 
tation of crime in the anmtry. Does its pure atmosphere 
prove the matrix of this evil fecundity ? Does a geographical 
basis prove a conductor of vice ? Where shall we look for 
the source of this destroying torrent that rushes with 
appalling force, carrying in its headlong sweep poor victims 
that can but feebly resist its impetuosity? Trace the 
polluted stream to the noisy city, where fester in corrup- 
tion, Shame and her sister, Depravity. Pent up within 
circumscribed limits, this vast pool of iniquity has swollen 
to bursting, and poured its Lethean waters in desolating 
channels over the country, tincturing its green vales and 
gunny hills with the hue of death. 

Hitherward, too, and from the same depot, have emi- 
grated the etiquette and fashion of the sidewalk and draw, 
ing-room. A vain spuit has incited a general disbursement 
of frivolities and extravagances from the chaotic plunder 

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70 Kit Keltin's Kernels. 

of fariiionable Kimrods which have been deposited in the 
central warehouse from tune to time. Has the result been 
beneficial 7 Does the '' aw^-ing of the gloved beau of 
Broadway set well upon the broad shoulders of the plough- 
man ? The evil is entailed ; from whence came it — ^what 
lastened it ? 

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The Death Whisper. 

" *Ti8 a Tile thing to die, my gntdooa lord, 
When men are anprepared, and look not for it.** 

Kixo KiOBABS m. 

It was even so. Ill tell you how. Our reminiscences 
are like milestones along the great highway of life. While 
some are black with the mists that have so often enveloped 
them, there are others still bright, despite the piping wind 
and howling storm. We classify those that are marred 
and heavy with creeping moss, as souvenirs that partake 
of subjects which whisper dark disquietude ; while the 
legible and the perfect, as those memories ever pleasant 
with delightful sensations, scattering a perfume about our 
path to smile us onward. 

There are many quiet nooks in cherished New England 
where nature has adorned herself with that variety of 
garb which fascinates the eye and feasts the taste. The 
beetling cliff, the sleeping plain, and the wild old woods, 
" fi*agrant as the smell of Lebanon," are engaging localities, 
to which the enthusiastic admirer of scenery, both pictur- 
esque and bold, pays his pilgrimage from afar. And these 
same quiet nooks are dotted with dwellings whose inmates, 
busy in their particular spheres, lead a life exempt from 
solicitudes that prey upon, and aspirations that sap the 
social happiness of noisy towns. And one, too, would sup- 


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72 Ejt Kelyik's Kernels. 

poee, that here the same quietness which sleeps apon the 
hill and down the yallej, would influence the disposition of 
the sojourner ; but, alas I the fierce ebullition of passion 
and the frenzy of mind haunt as enemies here as well as 

*« Midst the crowd, the hum, the ihoek of men.** 

A long time has elapsed since I passed a winter in the 
fanuly of the Tillage physician. He was a man not so well 
rersed in aesthetics as in depletion, the use of the scalpel 
and the pill ; but of discrimination in his profession as well 
as of some distmction, and possessing those unassuming 
ways which invite approbation. The better portion of his 
days had been passed among the yillagers, and of their 
yarious physical conditions and temperaments he well 
judged : like a paternal parent prescribing for the incli- 
nations of his children, with that confidence attendant upon 
such an estate. 

A bitter night succeeded one of the still cold days in the 
month of December, 18 — . A fire was blazing upon the 
hearth, disseminating a cheerfulness peculiar to such. a 
season and such a time, while around it, in a quiet family 
circle, were gathered the inmates of the household. We 
had just congratulated ourselves on the prospect of a night 
uninterrupted, with a sympathimg shudder for those un- 
fortunate ones who were compelled to encounter the dark 
and cold, as a succession of loud and startling' raps broke 
upon us from the outer door. 

"I dare say a summons for me," exclaimed the doctor, 
with an expressive shrug of the ^oulderd ; "but, I must 

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Thb Death Whispek. 73 

confess, I have a choice to remain at home to-night. It 
sonnds like a mountain knock ; some casualty among the 
woodmen — ^bah I" 

A tall, powerfully built man was ushered in, whose ap- 
pearance manifested a fellowship with exposure and de- 
privation. His face was full of alarm, and aa the bright 
fire-light fell upon it, you could detect a moisture in his 
eye, whether from the cold or from sorrow, was for us to 
surmise. He stood covered for an instant, blinded by 
the glare of the blazmg wood; but as if suddenly conscious 
that he was now within the pale of civilized society, he 
awkwardly displaced his hat, and approaching the doctor, 
with a voice that " sounded like a cannon in a vault,'' 
said, " Nat Ingalls is in a bad way and wants to see you;" 
his features at the same time assuming an embarrassed, in- 
quisitive look, mingled with doubt at the success of his 
errand for mercy. 

" Well, what is the matter ?" 

" He's smashed." 

" How ? The leg, spine, or internally ?" 

"Enough to finish him. I don't know where he's 
broke," said the woodman, gruffly, " but he groans loud 
enough to wake former Jones, who, he says, died in the 
meanest kind of way, without paying him. I think he's 
crazy some, doctor, too, for he can't let former Jones 
alone in his grave ; and he howls about Frink. I don't 
know who he means; but there's something wrong, I guess, 

" Frink !" exclaimed the doctor, musingly, as he passed 

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74 Krr Kelvin's Kernels. 

his hand across his brow, while his eye expressed a wild, 
troubled thought ; " what time was the aceident 1^ 

" About three o'clock. A tree fell onto him^ jon see, 
and I shouldn't wonder if he's stiff by the time I got 

** Where is John?" asked the doctor, turning to me. 
"Be so good as to see he has the hcnrse ready for the 
mountain. Tell Ingalls I will see him as soon as possible," 
he continued, addressing the woodman, who 1^ for his cdd 
and lonesome return. 

" Just barely warm from my day's ride," ejaculated the 
doctor, with a little impatience, as he put his boots before 
the fire ; " and now for this mountain ride and an ail-nights 
job. Would that all romantic young men who dream of 
sheepskins that dub them M.D.'s could diagnose such a 
time as this ; I imagine there would be more gigs to let 
and more rides unoccupied than there are at present." 

Oiren to adventure, and supposing I ndght learn some- 
thing of a woodman's life by going to the mountain, I 
Yolunteered to accompany the doctor. It was at once 
dedded, and in half an hour we were upon the road. We 
stretched away some three miles, a portion of the distance 
directly up the mountain, which frowned over the peaceful 
Tillage like some huge monster begirt with an icy armor, 
challenging a combat. Benumbed with cold, we at last 
brought in yiew a low tenement of stone, rough as the 
quarry itself, from which, through a sorry apology for a 
window, glimmered a light. 

" That," said the leech, '' is the place where Nat Ingalls 

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The Death Whispeb. 75 

lives ; how^ you will shortly see. There seems a mystery 
about this man's incoherency. He talks of one Frink, 
and I now remember the sudden disappearance of this 
man from these parts. Yet, he was a trai^ient fellow, 
and the affair was soon forgotten. But a fearful thought 
comes upon me now, and I am constrained to think Ingalls 
knows what became of him. He has the secret and he 
must t^ me. Come, let us in." 

A heavy door of plank opening gave us ingress to an 
apurtment entirely deprived of furniture, save a few worth- 
less chairs, a board table, and cots in opposite comers. 
The fireplace occupying one end was bountifully supi^ed 
with logs, requiring the strength of an able man. to a<^*nst 
them. Upon the table stood a tin basin filled with ofl, 
with a bumii^, floating wick. As we entered, our ears 
were filled with a deep groan from the patient, an 
athletic man of expanded and indurated muscle, showing 
an uncommonly marked temperament for exertion and for 
endurance. Wrapped m his woodman's blanket, and 
stretched at full length before us, writhing in his agony, he 
looked like a disabled bull of the prairie, lashing hunself 
for his imbecility. It was Nat Ingalls, the woodman. In 
his c<mvulsive turns he caught the doctor's surcoat. It 
was th« grasp of the vice. *^ In the name of God, doc- 
tor, help met What does that blood mean?" he ex- 
claimed, pointing to a coagulated expectoration upon the 
floor. The doctor was one who had a supply of self- 
reliance, as well as self-possession, sufficient for any 
emergency, whether (£ snddra danger or of mortal su^- 

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76 Krr Kelvin's Eebhels. 

nesB. -He watched closely the chan^ng expression of the 
voodman's face, his contortions of body, with an occa- 
sional question, for some time, which, to the poor victim, 
who was constant with his interrogations, seemed an age. 
I was in doubt as to the doctor's opinion of the resnlt, 
until drawing a chahr to Ingalls' side, he said : " Ingalls, 
were you ever married F " No." " Have you any 
friends ?" " God only knows 1" replied the man, with a 
shudder. " But you have come to cure me ; why do you 
ask such questions?" "Nat Ingalls," interrupted the 
doctor, in a voice as solemn as the grave, and full of fear- 
ful meaning, " you must die 1" 

" Die 1" echoed the wretched man, turning his dark eye 
fhll upon the doctor. '' Die ! did you say ? Understand, 
I am in too great pain for joking. Come, give me" 

" Nat Ingalls," continued the doctor, " there is no medi- 
cine, no skill in this world caif save you. You must die 
before morning I" 

K you have heard the yell of a " strong swimmer in his 
agony" — if you have seen a man full of vitality sink in a 
few hours under a mortal epidemic — ^you can picture the 
frightfulness of the scene that followed. It required our 
united strength, together with that of his mountain 
friend to hold the dying man. Fearful was the struggle, 
mingled with imprecations, the recollection of which 
makes the flesh to cre^. 

" Die 1" roared the woodman. " Die 1" 

" Yes I" repeated the doctor, with imperturbable cahn- 
ness in the horrid drama, '' and you are hastening death by 

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Thb Death Whispbb. 77 

your ravings. If jon continae thus, joall not last an 
honr — ^believe me. Calm joorsel^ Ingalls, and show jonr- 
self a man. Yonr longest time is short for the prepara- 
tion you need, and I advise joa to speak at once what jon 
have to say." 

The calm bat decided action of the doctor had the 
desired effect The wretched man gazed at him with a 
look that beggared description. It waa one of fierce 
anger, chained by a perfect knowledge thsA all resistance 
or evadon was futile. His eye fell upon me with the same 
terrible glare ; but after a moment's survey, he mattered : 
'' It is all the same ;" and motioning me to a seat, took 
the doctor's hand, and with a hoarse whi^r made known 
the dreadful secret <^ his life. It was a scene for 
Hogarth's penciL Assembled around the bed of a dying 
man ; remote from house or neighbor ; alone in the moun- 
tain, with the cold wind whistling a mournful chorus 
without ; and that man detailing in the intervals of pain 
a crime of blood, the punishment of which he had thus far 

" Doctor, if you say I have got to die — and I b^in to 
believe it — ^I have something to say, though I'm a fool to 
tell you. Do you remember some twenty years ago a 
man called Erink suddenly disappeared from this moun- 
tain ? I met him one night at Hick's Tavern, on his way 
to Canada, and hired him to help me to chop during the 
winter. We lived here alone. Farmer Jones was the 
man I worked for in wooding, and you know he died 
early in the spring, insolvent. I couldn't get my money. 

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7S Kit Kelvin's Ksbnels. 

nor pay mj man. lliis I told Mm, bnt he swore I should 
pay him, or he'd maJLe me a subject for a coroner's inquest. 
We had a fight about it in tiiis very room. Frink being 
stronger, and in order to get advantage oyer him, I 
maimed him by a heavy kick. He fell, and I dosed upon 
him, drew my knife — and " 

A. gulling sound from Ingalls' throat, with a strong 
convulsion of his sinewy frame, stopped his utterance. 
It was but for a moment, fringing to his feet, with the 
glare of death in his sunken eye, and his arm waving with 
that uncertain motion which symbds the tnd, he screamed : 
** There I see I yonder he comes I — stop him ?" A gush 
of warm blood ran fr<»n tiie dying num's mouth over his 
pers(m, and falling heavily back, his eyes upturned, hands 
clenched, jaws locked, and with a yell louder than horn or 
bugle, Nat Ingalls was dead. A feeling of horror crept 
ov^ us, as mute and motionless we sat gazing upon the 
Moody corpse. 

"Doctor," I whispered, "let us not return to^ught.*' 

" Pooh 1 you are nervous 1" he replied, as he spread a 
dampened cloth over the features of the dead. 

It was even so. Fve told you how. 


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A Memory of life. 

What a fearful thing a " Good-bye " is, spckea upon 
the threshold of a long absence I It savors more of eteiv 
nitj than of life ! Years past, I wandered mncL My 
home was the ocean ; and although frequent was the part* 
ing scene, still there is one I can never forget. Wearied 
with a long cruise, I had returned with a furlough <^ thre6 
months ; cause, indisposition. The spot that welcomed me 
was choice with nature's beauties as well, as those of the 
soul. Kindness of heart, pure feelings of affection and 
devotedness of spirit, on the one hajid, and the sweet fields, 
running broolra and cool woodlands on the other, brought 
a contented mind and a beating heart. Here I had taiv 
ried ; and you can imagine my entire happiness, for with 
such an Elysium came my health and former gaiety. 
Besides all Uiese generd iU;tractions, th^re was iui indi- 
vidual one — a young maiden of some dghteen summers ; 
and as we were inclined to reading and light amusement, we 
were much togeth^. This undoubtedly looks strange to 
you, BA coming direct ftomi my lips, for you imagine I 
eschew all tenderness ; Irat time, and its changes, disap- 
pointments and cares, corrode the heart — God preserve 
you, Pierre, from the experience I — and although I can 
look upon the young, and love to know of their enjoyment, 


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80 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

still these scenes of my earlier diEijs arise like Banqno's gbost 
to dispel all imagined or real happiness by them eyinced. 

My Mary was not romantic enough for the nomencla- 
ture of " heroine.'^ She was possessed of true common 
sense, a pure mind, elevated ideas, and a gracefulness suffi- 
cient to captivate. I had seen the noble mind of Castile, 
the sunny smile of the fair Italian ; but Mary had eclipsed 
all ; she was my compass, my talisman. But my heart 
aches I 

The bugle of the approaching coach started me from a 
reverie I had fallen into upon my couch, and accustomed 
to instant preparation, I exchanged my rohe de chambrt for 
a coat, and kissed my Mary, and with valise in hand, 
encased myself inside, before the echo of the horn had 
fairly died away. It was the commencement of another 
cruise ; a cnrise upon which I never reflect without a shud- 
der. Would that I too had gone down hmaag the sea- 
weeds ! 

Upon the way I fell in with an assistant-surgeon dis- 
patched to join the same vessel to which I was then pro- 
ceeding ; and before we had arrived, we had become firm 
friends ; drawn together, as it were, by those mysterious 
chains which always attract congenial souls. We had 
talked of our boyhood^s days, our youthful hopes (many 
already crushed), and I had willingly made him my confi- 
dant of my love for Mary. He appreciated my feelings, 
and entered warmly into my fature hopes ; but always, at 
these times, could I detect a shade of melancholy upon his 
brow, the cause of which I could never ^scover, though I 


by Google 

A Memory of Live. ^ 81 

rallied him often, and importuned him to unbosom the 
secret. Forever endeavoring to rally my spirits, I found 
his heart surdiarged with that peculiar self-sacnficiog spirit 
which seems embodied in cky for a short time only ; earth, 
seemingly, not being the place for the maturing of such firuit. 

After the usual ''note of preparation," which was 
** long drawn out," we stood oat to sea ; a period of my 
life the happiest, to be dosed with the pall of death, sad- 
dening, heart-sickening. In the doctor I found the accomr 
plished scholar and the well-bred gentleman ; he combined 
qualities of mind rarely equalled. In all the fearful 
changes through which it was our destiny to pass, he bore 
himself with the dignity, cahnness and resignation of a 
good man and brave officer. Of mankind he was my beao- 
ideal He had tiravelled much, and of human nature knew 
full well For fome he was seeking, but not linking his 
ennobled mind to meanness thereby. He had struggled 
long and heartily ; had denied himself pleasure and comfort 
for his profession ; had obtained it, and had just com- 
menced to reap his harvest. Upon him looked a father 
and a mother ; and justly were they proud of such a repre- 
sentative. With a flushed face and moistened eye has he 
joften told me of the parental anguish it was his to witness 
when he left his quiet valley-home ; but he was going 
under the stars-and-stripes of his dear fatherland, and with 
the hope that on his return he should witness a far different 
scene, his heart was buoyed up, and he spoke the adieu 
heartily and cheerily. 

Through the monotony of a voyage in tropical climes, 

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82 Kit Kelttn^b Kebnels. 

through tempests dire, simnj days and favoring gales, 
together with strolls ashore «t different ports, the doctor 
was eyer my companion, and many times did the hearty 
laugh, with his " infinite hnmor and variety of jest," recall 
me to hope and cheerfulness. Fully beloved by officers 
and men, it was gratifying to see with what earnestness 
the old salts tugged at their matted fore-locks when he 
made his appearance on deck. He had the hearty respect 
of true men-of-war's men. 

Tbm wore our cruise away, and we were homeward- 
bound, when that fearful scourge, called " Yellow Jack " 
by sailors, or in land phrase, yellow fever, made its pres- 
ence among us. We had lost one man at our last port, 
and had stood out, hoping through breezes free from the 
malaria to escape the threatened sweep ; but it was of no 
avail. The contagion was on board, and was daily dimin- 
ishing our ship's strength by a fearful increment upon the 
sick-list. It was then the season to test the manliness 
of each heart ; and in no case was it better illustrated 
than in that of the doctor. Crowding 'twixt hammocks 
where lay poor victims writhing in agony, he was seen at 
all hours administering comfort by his profession, and 
cheerfulness by his smiles and ready tongue. Although 
his arduous labors were fast pulling him down, he often 
told me he was placed there to do his duty, and it was the 
part of a coward to refuse. " I love my profession," were 
his words ; " it is a noble one. If I live, I shall never be 
sorry that I have done my duty ; if I die," he added, with 
firmness, compressing his lips, " 'tis well J" 

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A Mbmobt of Life. 83 

To witness the haggard looks and blanched cheeks 
among ns was frightful I — and then the thinning of onr 
men! The vacant seats around the mess-tab|e in the 
ward-room told a shuddering tale I Already had the 
silent borial become fearfully often, mingled at times with 
the booming gun, which sounded the death-knell of some 
brave officer going down to his last hammock amid the 
waves. I had felt ill for several hours ; but unwilling to 
relinquish my post in this trying time, I had kept about, 
inspired no doubt by the conduct of my Mend, who still 
braved the deadly contagion ajid laughed away the fears 
of the dyii^ sailor. Many have told me since, that had it 
not been for his assiduity they would have been food for 

At lei^h, feeling the certainty of the symptoms, and 
unable longer to stand, I gave up, and was reported 
accOTdingly. My friend was instantly by, with his usual 
cheerfulness. " Well, Kelvin, you are to run your chance, 
now, eh ? I had thought better of you 1 A stout heart 
will carry you through." 

For days he fought the m&lady with vigor, and smiled 
as he told me I was safe ; the last smile I ever saw him 
wear ! I found him on his back two days after, undergo- 
ing the consequences of the foul inhalations and physical 
exhaustion. He told me calmly he was going to die. The 
probability fell upon me like a thunderbolt. His calmness 
was fearful ; it was the calmness of " that sleep that knows 
no waking." " It is hard," he said, with feeling, *' for one 
so young to die, after all my exertions I But I am comr 

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84 Krr Kelyin'b Kernels. 

posed — Yerj composed.'' My own life would have been 
nothing, could I have saved him thereby I 

Bat I^will not dwell upon this sad, true tale. We 
bnried that noble heart in the ocean a few days after. 
He died composedly, sending to his cherished home a mes- 
sage of peace ; the home he had so often spoken of with 
eloquence and love. Ood grant that yonr heart may never 
experience such suffering as was mine ! Nor was this all : 
I found the green turf covering my Mary I Do you won- 
der that I am often sad f 

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Mania : Its Progress. 

The world is a. chess-board. What strange and comr- 
plicated games are transacted upon it I All men are 
players, moving respectively, and in the civil, religions and 
political^ scenes continue thus to do, nntil the automaton 
Death, with his eyeless skull and fiieshless hand, stalks 
before, chattering with his ghastly jaws, " check-^maU P^ 

Ccmstituted with a natural irksomeness to sameness, 
man is ever discovering new methods and devices for fame 
and wealth, even to self-immolation. Where is there the 
period in antediluvian, medieeval or modem days, that we 
cannot fasten this verity ? With this germ enwrapped in 
our being, cherished by example as well as tinctured by 
hereditament, we advance toward age only to manifest 
the growth of this undeniable posiHve. A charity for 
others' excesses, for the strange wildness of adventure or 
scheme, prevents us from imitation. It needs but the 
proper incitement to move us upon the stage amid its 
fantastic masquerades, actors both fanciful and specula- 
tive. Example, with sober face and silvery hair, traces of 
dear-bought experience, disappointment and contrition, sits 
unheeded in our path. In the inordinate hope of success 
our vision is blinded ; our ear deaf to .the voice that would 
warn us. A feeling soft as oriental luxury steals over us — 


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86 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

that charm which breaks not until desolated hopes, with- 
ering realities, and an absence of all gladness, are upon 
us. A fearfiil leprosy permeates onr organism. It is 
madness 1 Shudder at the idea as we may, we all have it, 
a mental elem^t, innate. In all ranks, professions and 
pursuits we have its representatives in full armor. Like 
Anak, it has moved in past generations with the same un- 
baffled, emotive stride as we now observe it. Like unto 
him who was commanded "to ta/rryj^ it knows not age, 
neither can it die. 

Let us dwell for a mom^t upon some of the most 
conspicuous manias that have become history. How 
strange does the reality seem 1 Bemoved from them by 
generations, we laugh at the curious vagaries played by 
our elders ; but, fellow pilgrim, beware lest your own in- 
consistency entrap you before the twelvemonth has passed. 

During the reign of William III. this strange mental 
essential appeared among the citizens of Edinburgh, and 
from an incipient state sped in rapid gradation to the 
height of its irregularities and leaped the bounds into 
merry England. The court and the exchange, the boudoir 
and the hovel, were alike filled with the contagion. It 
was the " Darim Schemed A colony was to be formed, a 
city to be built, prosperity unabated to follow, and nabobs 
were to be as common as coals in Newcastle. The little 
spark kindled a fire that raged and heated the whole 
kingdom ; and not until its ignition became alarming, 
arose a mighty opponent to subdue. The king, troubled 
lest his capital and commercial strength should be given to 

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Mania: Its Pboobess. 87 

Scotland, endeavored to check this enthusiasm by throw- 
ing obstacles in thp way of the fabricators. But of no 
avail ; Mania conquered. The colony sailed, landed, or- 
ganized, and sent home intelligence which caused a carni- 
val in Edinburgh. But upon the heel of this rejoicing, 
came an ill-fed, disheartened, dying remnant of the grand 
scheme. Sickness, starvation, the Spaniards' revenge 
and the king's proclamations, were too potent bulwarks to 
besiege. The project faded into a shadow, but not until 
its portrait had been transferred to canvas, upon which 
the world has gazed, not without instruction. 

Disgusted with the unfruitful soil of Scotland, Mania 
strided the Channel into the sunny vineyards of France. 
Captivated with the luxury of its capital, it made its 
appearance in the Place Y^id6me. It was during the 
minority of Louis XY., when the Duke of Orleans wba 
Eegent, that the world became acquainted with John 
Law, who, from his handsome person, ready wit and 
abundance of animal spirits was yclept, " Beau Law." A 
more unscrupulous, unprincipled man, probably, never 
existed. He was a noted gambler as well as a refugee 
from justice ; having shot a convivial pot-companion in a 
duel. Upon this individual, Mania fixed its delirious eye. 
It was the charm of the serpent, and under its seductive 
influence he concocted a plan, which for its masterly de- 
sign, its universality, its magical success and wide-spread 
influence, is unprecedented in the annals of speculations. 
He was the author of the " Mississippi Scheme " that for 
tjiree years reigned paramount throughout France, echoed 

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88 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

amid tne monntains of Germany and hills of England^ 
The financial world stood amazed at the golden shower 
which fell among the infatuated populace like the natural 
rain, while the name of Law was more powerful than 
potentate or empire. A Mephistophiles of finesse and 
calculation ; his word at once law and execution ; the 
Cambon of the seyenteenth century. Excitement was at 
such a pitch in Paris that death frequently occurred in the 
crowds thai convened in the street where the stock-jobbers 
congregated ; while gold and velTet costumes were passed 
unnoticed. But if Law with his guardian Mania shot up 
to the zenith of all desire with lightmng-like celerity, he 
fell " like Lucifer never to hope again.'' The god of gold 
and the idol of the people fled the city, a beggar, to save 
his life. Thus exploded this grand and gigantic prestige ; 
but not before it had given to the world, as its last 
will and testament, its history. 

The /'South-Sea Scheme," another o£^ring of the 
Mania, found, like its predecessors, an early and ignomini- 
ous grave. And thus we have from time to time a new 
device and another collapse regularly analyzed tiU we come 
to our own generation. Not satisfied with past defeats, 
Mania, still vigorous, is pushing its hydra-head above the 
surface of registering events. In England we have wit- 
nessed the metallic resources absorbed in the construction 
of railways to such an extent as to drain the entire floating 
capital of the kingdom ; while old established houses, 
proud in their antiquity and name, together with national 
institutions, have, withered before this blastmg simoon. 

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Mania: Its Peogresb. 89 

It follows man from the cradle to the grave ; lulling him 
into "the rapture of repose'' but to startle him with fierce 
convulsions and agonizing dreams. While it warms, it 
bums to ashes. A phantasm as remediless in decimation 
as it is impressible in allurements. While the poor victim 
is jubilant in expectancy, it is already consigning him to 
the abysm of hopelessness. 

Mania's haggard face is staring in through our win- 
dows — ^we meet it in the streets. While it tempts the 
rich man to an increment of wealth, it lures the poor 
laborer from his spade and mattock, throws the golden 
apple in the path of the husband, and robs the wife of a 
protector and supporter. Seriously, what is to be the 
result of the vast Golden Mania of 1848 ? Will the 
influx of great wealth beguile us to effeminacy — ^lead us to 
experience the wild profligacy of the Duke of Orleans' 
regency ? Shall the possession of gold, silver and cinnabar 
puff us with ingratitude and selfishness, or make us, like 
Eglon of Moab, to wax fat and kick ? 

As this peculiar positive exists in our mysterious organi- 
zation, we cannot condemn it ; it is higher bom than that 
of our own divination. In its slumbering state it is of no 
avail, while it is worse than a non-possession when pushed 
by unnatural excitement to an excess of action. Under a 
full development, what travesties, what ungovemable 
trespasses upon all that is defined by the rules of social 
life, as well a^ guarded against by its necessary restraints, 
follow I We may not exonerate ourselves of wildness, 
because it is inherent in our natures ; the germ is a con- 

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90 Krr Kelvin's Kernels. 

stituent principle in our mechanism, tmly ; but we are not 
to bring to oar aid any hot-house atmosphere to force a 
growth unconformable to nature. 

It would indeed appear that our age is one in which 
Mania has become ripe to yellowness, Nurtured by those 
who haye heralded our appearance, it has grown |)eeyish 
and turbulent in the abundance of caresses, and is leaping 
the barriers of restrauit to revel amid the common wreck 
and chaos it creates. It is for us to forestall its progress 
with a sanative which we have within us — ^reflection. 
However alluring may be the subject, to look before the 
leap is consummated is wisdom ; for afterward there is no 
alternative but to endure the evils that are entailed. 

Mankind, like sheep, forever follow the tinkle of the 
leader. Barricades of wood or stone, danger or death, 
are no appliances to save. An unhallowed scheme is 
boldly promulgated, shootings athwart the track of the 
moneyed man ahd oi him who has none of earth's mineral 
to count. There is a speciousness about it that entraps 
the desire while it enchains the attention. The sober 
mien of the quiet citizen is exchanged for one of anxious 
uneasiness. He has divested the flying projectile of all its 
feasibility, and still it wears a chann. 

That the valley of the Sacramento offers inducements of 
a nature both extraordinary and exciting, is fully apparent 
by the vast emigration thitherward, as well as by suc- 
cessive accounts that have been duly authenticated ; and 
this inclination to adventure is but perfectly consistent 
with the elements which form our characters. StiU, it is 


by Google 

Mania: Its Progsess. 91 

all impolsiye. To control such a desire is hardly more 
practicable than the fasion of basalt by the natural 
warmth of the hand. An uneasy tenant, it must be 
humored ; yet what are the results f Where one "bird 
of passage " is safely landed, fully satisfied, and returns, 
" bearing his sheaves with him,'' a score meet with inde- 
scribable anxiety, disappointment, sickness and death. 
And yet this untamable spirit, despite all mortal obstades, 
is one of our essentials. It is the parent of all our noble 
and formidable projects and executed designs ; those mas- 
sive battlements of our country which frown upon all inac- 
tion, that inert lymph which clogs the wheels of trundling 
enterprise. I would not deprecate it ; rather would I 
cherish it. Yet there is an intermediate state of feeling to 
be the cynosure. Shall we follow it, or shall we plunge 
headlong into that gurglmg flood that knows neither a 
master nor a friend ? 


by Google 

Charred Embers. 

You may think, dear Nick,* I love to dwell upon sad 
details, bat methinks a recital of serious events, occasion- 
ally mixed with the thoughtlessness of the age, may not 
come amiss. Tis true, gaiety is, as it should be, the natu- 
ral language of the heart ; and although it is often 
wrecked, still, like the sweetness of a crushed rose, it 
should breathe its better perfume in lieu of direful com- 
plaints and unsavory ingratitude. 

You have musical contributors, whose papers are replete 
with wit, and burs^ng with rich humor ; such as is por- 
trayed in the " History of Babylon;" and there is no one 
who enjoys such reading more than myself, nor am I ever 
weary of them ; yet there is a satiety for the heart, even 
in gaiety. 

I will not preach a prosy sermon, nor advocate TJtopian 
measures, nor pull at the windlass of uncertam isms; but 
merely etch a simple souvenir. I would willingly give you 
many such, if I thought a mellow influence upon the heart 
of any of your world-wide readers might be the result. But 
although the hasty step may be delayed, and the rash spirit 
bend for a tune upon memories, yet it is natural to forget ; 
and not until the ardent heart feels the adder's tooth can 
it know of stem realities. 

* PabllBhed in Kfdekerboek^^ NoTember, 1848. 

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Ghabrbd Embess. 93 

I clip a few pages from an old journal, which, with a 
little praning, I inclose to yon. 

A sharp crack of the driver's whip, and a sadden 
increase in the rattling of the coachrwheels, startled me 
from the drowsiness incident to a long ride. I looked oat 
to find myself in my native village, from which I had been 
absent many years. The declining sun threw a soft 
light oyer the old woods that dot the outskirts of the 
hamlet ; such a sunset as had witnessed my departure ; 
and for a moment I was absorbed in the remembrances of 
earlier days that had been so long buried. With life's 
realities I was loo conversant, else I should have believed a 
" deep sleep " had fallen upon me, from which I was just 
awakening. Although surrounded by those whom I well 
knew, still. Time had played too merrily with me to be 
recognized by any one ; and among the villagers I was as an 
utter stranger. As each familiar face turned from me with 
cold indifference, I resolved to continue my journey ; but 
reflection tended to bind me closer to old memories, and 
my feelings yielding to my former purpose, with a quick 
step I j)assed the threshold of the " Village Inn." 

It was like looking upon an old and well-remembered 
painting. There was the same division in the room con- 
stituting the " bar," with the same letters, once gilded, but 
which years had nearly effaced, that told the traveller 
here he could fling his knapsack down, and with common 
civility and a moderate purse, temporarily forget his cares. 
Behind the railing stood the same rosy-cheeked, chin- 

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94 Ejt Kelvin's KssNELd. 


dimpled, and orbicular-bodied landlord, with the same 
ready smile and twinkle of the eye. His obesity had 
increased and descended into the locomotive organs to 
snch a*degree that his natural alertness was essentially 
impeded ; which, with a i^ght sprinkling of white m his 
once black hair, were all that my eye detected of change 
in him. He met me with a cheerful " good evening," but 
it savored little of acquaintancecdnp. To him I was now 
a stranger. Not so some twenty years before, when with 
the nimbleness of a deer he chased me over the green, 
with ire in his eye and determination in his voice. I had 
poached upon his grounds, and fastened a favorite game- 
cock to a tree, to circumscribe the limits of the bird and 
protect one of my own from a bloody contest. To innova- 
tion he was apposed, and clung tenaciously to old customs 
and fashions. He had preserved his '' inn " from the least 
ai^)earance toward improvement. The same wooden peg 
that lined the entry waii»coting still existed, and I verily 
believe the same spder-web floated in the comer of the 
bar that hung there when I left the place. I could not 
have desired a more perfect realizati<m of other days. 

Occupying one of the old chairs that had been in use for 
two generations, I was musdng with eyes cast upon the 
floor, whe^ there entered a person whom the landlord 
saluted as ''Captain Jerry.'' B^re I looked up, this 
familiar title pictured to my mind a well-known feature of 
the village when I left it; a man about fifty, with a bright 
black eye, and business step ; of great loquacity, yet 
backed by an uncommon share ti intdligeiice. He had 

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Chabbsd Embbbs. 9& 

enjoyed all the honors of the town, from " school commit- 
tee " to a seat in the capitol of the State. I coold not 
fancy a change in him ; but I looked np, and beheld him 
as he now was. The vigorons gait had fallen into the 
shuffling step of age*^ fall limbs had withered to ^* shrunk 
shanks," and the eagle eye was dun and cloudy. He was 
the very personification of that beautiftQly descriptiTe 
poem of Hohnes, " The Last Leaf :^ 

*' Bat now Us nose Is thin, 
And it rests upon his chin 

Like a staff; 
And a crook is in his ba<dE, 
And a melancholy crack 
In his laugh.** 

" Oh, Epictetus I" I exclaimed to myself, " can Time 
gnaw and corrode like this ?" The old man tottered to a 
seat. He looked at me for a moment, and a bright light 
of other days seemed to gather in his sunken eye. Hid 
lip quivered, his look grew more earnest, until, spriaging 
from his chair, he fell into my arms. The old man had 
recognized me I His voice was tremulous as he said, ** It 

is 1" Faint and musical, that sentence still rings in 

my ears — nor can I ever forget it. 

I was no longer a stranger. The room was crowded by 
ihoae who were warm and hospitable in their welcomes. I 
was a boy again I 

I gazed upon the old man with peculiar feelings. His 
son had been my playfellow. Directly back of tha 
filkge, in a quiet grove, we had parted, with ezcbangeii 

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96 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

of lastmg Mendship and affection. It was my first cruise; 
and flashed with hopes that brightened in the fntnre, I 
had made known to him my ambitions projects. He was 
the elder, and bade me remember all that was ^ood in 
him, and not to forget the playmate of my boyhood, how- 
ever hnmble might be his avocation. Beneath a mild 
extmor, there was a prond spirit, destined, as it seemed, 
to command. Since that time we had not met ; I had 
never before returned ; and as my profession carried me 
away from my native shores, I had heard but rarely of 
this early friend. 

A fearful conflict of hope and doubt occupied my mind, 
as I approached the old pilgrim. His head was bowed 
and rested in stiUness upon his cane. With much exertion 
I at length essayed : 

" And where is Thomas ¥' 

A slight convulsion crept over his frame, and tears 
dropped in quick succession down his wrinkled cheeks. 
He raised his head, and, gatheripg firmness, whispered : 

''Ht deeps P 

Again his head was bowed, while the old man wept 
aloud ; nor was he the only mourner. I never heard sc 
much expressed in two e^ort words before. I placed 
myself by the old man's side, and urged him to calnmess, 
while he related to me events in the life of his son with 
which I had not been made acquainted. 

My friend had run a short but brilliant career. He 
had graduated at the Military Academy; had carried 
distinction in his wake, and had not the grave become 

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Chabbed Embebs. 97 

enamored of its prey, he would have won nndjing laorela 
in his profession. A restless zeal had led him to acts of 
impradence, and before he was aware, disease had besieged 
his iron frame* He left a sonthem post, returned to his 
native Tillage, eahnlj bade his father, the world, and all 
his bright Tisions of adyancement and honor, adieo, and—* 
died I 

He was the last link that bound the old man to eartilt 
He was waiting with patience to depart. Mj Mend had 
left a message for me : 

" Tell 1 have heard from him often. Wonld that 

I conld see him 1 TeU him to remember the vanitj of all 
hnman power ; to remember poor Wolsey's last words to 
Cromwell : ' I charge thee fling awaj ambition I By that 
sin fell the angels V " 

Evening had stolen upon the scene. It was with sad- 
ness I bade the old man '' Good n^ht f for his eye was 
more clondy and his step more feeble. He was npon the 
threshold of the door that swings ontward into eternity. 

The bright rays of the sun were peering through my 
window when I awoke. A slow, distmct tolling of the 
village bdl fell heavily upon my ear. It was the knell 
of death. The " last leaf" had left the " forsaken bough.'' 

He was laid by his gaUant son in the quiet churchyard 
on the borders of the woodland. My eyes wandered again 
through the silent pathway which had witnessed our 
adieus ; and I confess a tear followed the sad reflection^ 
that another life-link had been severed. 

I have returned since, but the landmarks of old days 

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98 Ejt Eelyqi^b Kj£erels. 

are fast fading away. The railways have abolished post- 
coaches, and the snpematnral scream of the engine has 
frightened old echoes from their nestling-places in the wild- 
woods. I adrocate advancement — ^I am in favor of pro- 
gress ; but I dislike innoTations, and heartily detest the 
morbid spirit that conrts mere novelty. With the power 
of the ** wise men of the East," I wonld stay the age of 
steam wherdm it blends dty with country. We want some 
qniet place as a '^ city of refiige ;" some fields of sweet 
fresh air ; and these we want nncontaminated with town 
malaria and fearfiil contagion. 

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Wave and Wood: or^ Jack's Journal* 

NO. I. ^ 

Mgo to tb« great tnd. wlds Sea alBO, wherein are Innnmerable ctgeephig 
things, both unall and great beaete. There go the ihips : and there Is that 
leviathan, whom Then haet made to take hie pastime therein."— Pbiuol 

I HAD often pondered on tiie captiYftting text, wherein 
it is written, " Those who go down to the sea ill ships, and 
do business in the great waters," etc. The iron had 
ahready entered my heart, and I had bnried love for hill 
and dale ; and nothing wonld satisfy me but to fondle old 
Neptune's mane. In earlier life, a fond and doting mother 
and careM &ther detained me firom rash adventures ; but, 
like the fire partially smothered, t^e s^t at length broke 
out, and I found no hindrance to its gratification. 

A life within a large city, poring over musty account- 
books, and dealing with ungrateful men as well as selfish, 
had finished what as yet had been incomplete in weaning 
me firom the land. And although sweeter kindred ties 
were never known than those I eiyoyed, still old Ocean's 
hoary caps I had not seen, and I longed for the troubled 
deep. ** There is a divinity which shapes our ends, rough 
hew them how we may." I believe it ; and although it is 
a common desire among young lads to try their fortunes at 

• ▲ desoriptiTe letter to the KniekerlMHilUr, Ootober. 18SL 

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100 Kit Eelyin's Eebnels. 

sea, jet a nice discriminatioii should be obsenred by 
'parents in detecting the swrfau or de^^th of the youngster's 
desire. But I will not read a homily hereaway ; it is not 
meet : although, like a garrulous old dame who mver 
speaks, I wUl say, many a heart beats slow in straitened 
drcumstanceS; pursuing an irksome life-journey^ because, 
forsooth, when young, his bias was totally disregarded 
and crushed forever. It is a fearful and responsible 
trust to educate the young, expanding mind ; but I fancy 
it is an easy task to school it against entertaining strong 
desires fbr objects or pursuits to which the parent is 
odyerse. To say this as positive, I would not, although 
there may be much truth in it. 

The morning of the siriieenth' of Kovember, 18 — , 
broke the monotony of a landsman's life, and hurried me 
from brick and mortar walls to the deck of my gallant 
craft, A strange feeling stole orer me — ^a feeling of a 
new life. Unknown perils, strange scenes — the position I 
had left, the one I had accepted — all mingled in such con- 
fusion, I could neither say, "I am sorry,'' nor "I am 
pleased." I had preyiously part^ with those the heart 
held most dear, and the tear had be^ wiped away ; yet 
to leave the land in which they dwelt, was something I 
had not yet experienced. The busy tread of men on 
deck, the hoarse orders and the merry song at the cap- 
stan, soon knocked away such mumngs ; and ere I was 
aware of it I had commenced in good earnest a busy life. 
''The noise of the captains and the shoutmgs" and the 
booming guns soon ''spoke our adieu," while the dense 

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Wave aio) Wood: ob, Jack's Jottsnal. 101 

crowd of human beings tliat thronged the docks made the 
welkin ring again ; and oar noble craft stood away to pay 
her obeisance to the sea. The hills of our native land 
soon melted into shadows, and the jumping pitch and 
drunken roll told us that ocean was " all about." It is a 
sublime sight to look out and see naught but " old ocean's 
grey and melancholy waste f and then the utter helpless- 
ness of mortal man upon the remorseless tide ! Ah I 
none can know the perfectness of Ood in his power and 
msyesty, until the towering wave, high-heayenward, tells 
him of it. ** His way is in the sea, and his path in the 
great waters 1" 

To the sea I took naturally, as a fish to the lakes. I 
had my *^ sesrlegs " on at once, and as for the disagreeable 
feeling of searsickness, I knew it not. Incidents on ship- 
board are numerous, but the interest of them is materially 
lessened by narration, from the foct that they are entirely 
local and of no impcnrtance, as well as quite forgotten as 
soon as they have existence. With the exception of a 
mishap to our machinery, and a rolling sea, which lessened 
our speed and detained us several hours, our voyage was 
quiet, and made in some hours over eleven days. The 
first land-fall is made upon the lee — Cope Clear; a bold, 
sterile, rocky coast, pushing its head from the water, like 
an awakened monster startmg from his rest. Stretching 
away, we follow it for many a long and weary mile. Our 
monotony was at length broken in upon by receiving a 
pilot to take us to our moorings, and in some four hours 
the guns at each quarter {Hresented our first re[q)ects to 

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102 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

Old England via the smoky; dirty town of Liverpool. A 
peculiar yellow haze hong over the city, in some parts so 
thick that nothing could clearly be discerned. It is a 
commercial town, claiming very little to interest a 
stranger. I paid my yisit ashore soon after anchoring, 
and fomd it quite as difficult to walk correctly as some 
had found aboard ship. A disagreeable and confused 
feeling in the head followed our landing, and for some days 
I was rolling With the vessel. 

The town of Liverpool (oTd) occupies a space once 
covered with wat^r ; an old legend has it, that the first 
"squatters" frightened a bird from the midst of the 
waters, called a Lirer ; more imaginary than real, it is 
presumed. However, this is its derivation ; and the coat 
of arms is yet this bird, bearing a laurel in its mouth. 
There is but very little pride evidenced by the citizens in 
dress, dwellings, or manners ; and to an American, accus- 
tomed to any society at home, everything wears a " com- 
monality" quite below par. The tradesmen as well as 
all the middle class dress more than plain, if I may be 
allowed the expression, arising on one part from individual 
closeness, and 6n the other from dire necessity. At the 
hotels you find nothing savormg of show ; and although 
you have all real wants supplied, still it is done by mea- 
surement, and extras, which are entirely unknown in the 
States. Does the appetite call for a second roll of bread, 
a dish of butter, a strong potation, the former articles are 
*' extra," while the latter is particularly measured out to 
you. In all public houses, women, generally young, are 


by Google 

"Wavb and "Wood: ob, Jack's Jousnal. 108 

your attendants in the bar, and to yoor room ; a sdeo- 
tion and a cnstom $8 well for economy as policy, at 

The ocean had been traversed, and I stood npon mon- 
archical ground, a land with which I had been conversant 
through history from early boyhood : a land of kings and 
princes, imm(»rtal bards and brare knights — merry Eng- 
land I I wished a pleasanter introduction to this famous 
kingdom than that of liverpool ; but this was our land- 
ing port, and from it I could diverge when circumstances 
permitted. There are a few public buildings worth the 
attention of a stranger, and but a few. St. George's 
Hall, of recent construction, and erected for public pur- 
poses, is, perhaps, the one of most note. Her msyesty 
Queen Victoria honors the town with her presence in a 
few months, to ''q^en" it ; a ceremony much like laying 
a comer-stone in America. Figures carved from stone, 
and the size of Mfe, ornament the front of the building, a 
group more to keep alive the ancient rule of sculpturing 
than for modem modesty. However, this is but a &ult in 
the eyes of a few, and it may not become me to condenm 
it. In Exchange Square stands a m<mument to Nelson, 
of iron. Its design is as beautiful as it is just to the 
memory of a brave officer. Upon a pedestal Nelson is 
represented as falling ; and while Victory above is crown- 
ing him with a wreath of laurel, Death, concealed 
beneath, stretches his bony arm without, and places his 
hand upon the breast and heart of the admiral. At the 
base you read the words that all know— those living. 


by Google 

104 Err Eelyin's Ejbbnels. 

imperishable words — ** England expects every man to do 
his duty." 

A park in the suburbs, called '' The Prince's Park," is 
the lung of Liyerpool. It is yet in an unfinished state, 
but has all the natural advantages to make it quite 
attractive. The Theatre Boyal is* the only decent, 
respectable place of amus^nent; while on the other 
hand you have the Amphitheatre, a resort for all the cofth 
mons of the town ; and singing-haHs and ring-fights with- 
out number. lake all large towns, the floating population 
seek the common places, and one needs but a visit to cure 
him of all curiosity to look in i^ain. 

The gin-houses, although not so extensive as those of 
London, are still a very good miniature of those dire, 
death-dealing establishments. You enter by (me door, and 
t^ere in turn are men, women with infants, boys and girls, 
arranged at the bar, dispatching or eagerly waiting for the 
nauseous, unwholesome draught, and by another door they 
make their egress. It is a sad sight to see to what a com- 
plexion debased appetites will reduce man. There are 
some houses still more sad in the display of vice ; the 
resort of street-b^gars, prigs, or thieves, etc. Here you 
find the disabled sailor, manned landsman, or whoever 
begs for charity, Hirowing away their long faces, showing 
two legs and two arms, instead of one, as at the moment 
before ; revelling, half maudlin in pdsonous liquors, and 
exulting in the clever tricks they have imposed upon 
the givers. Although in our own midst we have* all 
classes of vices, yet to speak firc»n observation, I should 

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Wave ahd Wood : ob, Jack's Joijewal. 106 

give the old country the preference as to perfection in this 
matter. Deception seems more abundant among the low- 
est. The post-boy will cringe to yon for his expected 
shiUing ; bnt, if disappdnted, yoor feelings are very apt to 
descend into the region of yonr toes, causing them to 
jump forward toward the stem of the retiring craft. 
Cariosity or inqmsitiyenesSy so rife in the States, is an ele- 
ment very little evidenced here. The better and intelligent 
portion are either indifferent, or their pride does not allow 
them to nncover their ignorance, while the ignorant and 
nnleamed do fwt know, and can scarcely be tanght. It is 
surprising to meet so much ilHberality of sentiment, such 
ridiculous and intolerable ignorance, as stare you in the 
face wherever yon go. I say this not in a spirit of ani- 
mosity or uncharitableness, but as the truth, so £Ebr as 
experience in observation goes. I would not advise 
strangers to make their dibv4 in England at LiverpooL 

The work-horses will surprise any one unaccustomed to 
such valuable auxiHaries. Their size is immense, and the 
weight they drag is quite as much so. Great and ridicu- 
lous is the comparison between these ^ant beasts and the 
poor little donkeys seen laboring under enormous loads, and 
goaded on by their unfeeling Irish masters. The former 
are bred in Lancashire, and fed on beans and Swedish tmv 
nips, food conducive to mettle as well as to a good condi- 
tion; and the latter is an Irish way of "getting on.'' 
Aside from the dray or float horses, this valuable animal 
meets with no favor ; I mean the common cab or car-horse. 
Urged to their utmost speed, they tear along through the 

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106 Kit Kelvin's Kebnels. 

streets like mad ; a speed forced by the wicked driver more 
for bis extra sixpence tban a desire to accommodate the 
passenger. The aboye^d " extra '^ you might as well 
give at once, or subject yourself to a despicable "jaw" 
with the " jarvey,'' who will haunt you so long as there is 
a prospect of obtdmng it ; another way of begging, which 
a true American would never follow, were he as poor as 
Sambo's hat. 

It is very pleasant in a foreign land to meet those who 
possess kind hearts, giving one the assurance that although 
Satan has tempted all mankind, there are yet those who 
despise his ways and scorn the proffered crown. I had re- 
solved to visit Dublin, and with a friend made my way to 
the royal mail steamer " Iron Duke,'' which runs to Kings- 
ton, some twelve miles from the city. The usual introduc- 
tion through, I pressed my friend's hand ; the steam was 
up, the hawser slipped, and we puffed down the Mersey. 
For awhile the captain's duties detained me from conversa- 
tion ; but this was but for a little time, after which I was 
Invited on deck to consummate our acquaintance. We 
soon found that we were bound, each to the other, by 
the " mystic tie ;" and although this fact might in part 
have biased Captain Christie, still his native gentle- 
manly conduct could not be too much warped by such a 
discovery. Be it from the former or the latter, I dis- 
covered myself in kind and generous hands, and the best 
comfort and luxury the steamer could produce was mine. 
The captain was a gentleman, perfectly liberal in his views; 
and I would not attribute it wholly to his having visited 

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Wave ahd Wood : ob, Jack's Jouenal. 107 

the States, albeit he knew the Americans well, and the 
same kindness he found frtm home, he seemed detennined 
to distribute ai home. I^iat night upon the Irish sea I 
shall always remember with pleasure, and I trust the 
humanity shown me by a fordgner and a stranger I may 
follow as an ezanq)le hereafter. We made Elingston, Ire- 
land, in the mon^ig, and with the detain as my wiUing 
guide, we booked ourselyes for Dublin. A beautiful part 
of Ireland it is between Kingston and Dublin; and 
although it was mid-winter, yet the grass was green, and 
the agriculturist was improving the forwardness of the sear 
son. It was my first visit to Ireland, and a very favorable 
impression it gave me. However, myjsurprise was much 
greater on entering Dublin ; a fine, beautifhlly pleasant 
dty, upon the Lififey, with spacious streets, and quite 
clean, reminding me of New York, as well in the style 
of building as in its general aspect. With another favora- 
ble introduction to a brother— poor fellow I he has 
sLoce ''slipped his mo(»ings^ — we perambulated the dty, 
and in a few hours had seen many of its ^'lAomP 8t. 
Patrick's Cathedral, built ad. 700, is worth a long pi^rim- 
age to look upon. The " touch of lime" is visible with- 
out ; but within, although antique, it is yet perfect, and 
must remain so for ages to come. Dean Swift, and his 
wife Stella, and his servant, lie buried beneath, while the 
quaint busts and epitaphs tell you of the '' nat. et obiit '' of 
the same above. High above the head hang the banners 
of extinct families of nobility, covered with the dust and 
mold of centuries ; and a strange feeling it begets to 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

108 EiT Eelyin's Ejsnxls. 

look thereon. Long since haye they figured npon the 
great stage of life, and long ednce have they passed away ; 
and the only evidence of their hayiiig existed is the moth- 
. eaten banner aboTe. '' Oat, oat, brief candle I'' has 
Shakspeare tmly said. We live bat to die. Conld this 
expressire tmth be always regarded, onr actions wonld 
saTor of more wisdom than the natoral thoughtlessness of 
man allows. 

In the bnildlng called the Four Courts, poor Emmet 
made his immortal speech previous to his condemnation. 
In this room is a statue of George' the Third, the finest 
spedn^n of sculpture I ever saw. It is said his unworthy 
swi, George the Fourth, w^t when he saw it, for the 
inanimate representation of a worthy sire alinost spoke to 
him with the tcmgne of reproach. 

Trinity College is another " sight,*' having the finest 
room in any building in all Europe, occupied by the 
library. It is about three hundred and fifty feet long by 
forty-five broad, without a pillar to support it. Each 
side, in alcoves, are arranged the volumes, while the front 
of each alcove is decorated by the bust of some enu- 
nent man, from Socrates' time down to more modem 

A park, called Phoenix Park, just out of the city, is 
also one of the attracticms i;o a stranger. H^ Majesty's 
troops here stationed perform their drills on this ground. 
Unfortunately, my day in Dublin was not the one to secure 
me the sight. 

They have a funny waf of riding in Dublin. The 

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Ways akd Wood: os. Jack's Joubkal. 109 

▼ehicle is caOed a jarris or jarrey. Oyer the wheels each 
side is tiie seat, back to back, while jonr feet are liable to 
be '' carried awaj^ by anotiier passing machine of the 
same style. The driver or jarrej, in frcmt, pats his horse 
into a fall trot, and it is somewhat difficult to ke€{> anchored. 
I wonder spme trae Yankee does not introdace the castom 
in New York, a dty so famous for noTeltieB. 

The old part of the town looks like old Jewry : nar* 
row streets and very filthy. It is properly called ''The 

Althoi^h I expected to see a vast amount of poverty 
and b^;gary in Dablin, yet I noticed bat one wretched 
bdng, and he, I shonld suppose, was the King of Misery. 
Itnmed from hun as one too wretched and loathsome even 
to look apon. Nay, yon will see more oi Irish poverty in 
England's than in Ireland's large towns ; at least this has 
been my observation. I attnbate it to the vast emigration 
that is adrift. Not a packet leaves the town of Liverpool 
without a nest at these poor wretches swarming the deck. 
. They are bound for happy, free " Ameriky," where they 
expect to pick xxp sovweigns in the streets, and gather gar- 
ments from the trees. 

l^ere is also in Dublin a fine statue of Nelson, elevated 
some seventy-five feet ; and also one of William the 
Fourth. The former is marble, while the latter is iron. 
Both stand in the centre of the town, near the arched 
bridge ; a spot, by the way, from whidi can be seen 
nearly all the public buildings of the town. 

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110 Err Eeltin's E^ernels. 

I would here pay a humble tribute ot memory and 
regard to Captain Christie <A the '' Iron Dnke,^ for his 
gentlemanly beharicnr and brotherly kindness toward me on 
this flying trip to Doblin. 

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Landlord Wype. 

In old times — say neighborly times ; or, in other words, 
when some of ns were boys ; when stage-coaches were the 
world, and the blustering, Inragging whips, the potentates 
of it, curiosity — eager, prurient curiosity, was fully deve- 
loped. Illustrations ci an exalted nature were thickly 
strewn oyer New England, more particularly among those 
who were labelled and recognized as tayem-keepers ; a 
title, by the way, now known as landlords and proprietors. 
The one appellation, a rustic wooden handle ; the other, 
more modem, iyory, mahogany, or cutglass knob. 

Lftter days have swept away, and wiped out, much ot 
this meddlesome element ; and yet there is enough leayen 
still liefb to secure ^Eur specimens of the unadulterated 

Landlord Wype was the owner of a fine hotel in a quiet 
yillage. He was always &t, having commenced life by 
pulling down twelve pounds avoirdupois. When a boy, 
he was of that kind who wore short trowsers of a brown, 
dingy hue, and shone as if polished with brass-filings. In 
the winter he ornamented himself with a long, narrow 
strap of calf-«kin, which depended on both sides of his 
legs, and met in obtuseness under a heavy, crushing pair 
of pegged, cow-hide boots. The warm aroma (?) of a 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

112 Krr Eelyin's Kernels. 

sdioolroom, which, being remembered, is very pimgenty 
was the general atmosphere which sorronnded this planet. 
Growing np in this jnyenile, drcnmscribed way, he 
finally polished himself by attending a boardingnschool, 
from October to April, during which time he suffered much 
from the varions liberal bestowments of his schoolmates. 
At the end of his minority, his father, a man of means, 
finished his education by sending him to sojoom awhile in 
town. The lame was exceedingly Bhart, however, as in 
ten days he returned with but one shirt, and a suit of 
second-hand clothes, that were odgiiially made for a larger 
person. His natural garrulity forsook him when ques- 
tioned as to the cause ; but there were rumors of a coun- 
try youth who had fallen into the hands ot evil ernes, and 
had been fearfully vendued. Eventually he ^tered the 
profession of catering for man and beast, in which he 
became very succes^ul ; and time had settled him into a 
certain dignity of manner, greatly assisted by an enor- 
mous amount of adipose substance. Such was his life- 
condition, made public by a handsome swing-sign, em- 
blematical of ego non tu. Thus ; 

QSSft'x Inn. 



At Wype's Inn, by a blazing hickory fire, in an old- 
fashioned arm-chair, sat a guest. He was neither old nor 

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LAin>LOBD Wyfb. 113 

young ; lie had neither black nor grey eyes ; a nose nei- 
ther aqoiline nor png ; a mouth neither large nor straight ; 
hair neither black nor white ; a forehead neither maa- 
sirely melancholy nor basely low; neith^ splendidly 
equipped n<Nr meanly dad ; boots neither Wellington nor 
cow-hide ; he was neither smoking nor chewing ; he had 
no silver or gold snuff-box, n<Nr charms upon a pendent 
chain, nor an elaborately-chased finger-ring ; neither a 
pensiye nor an abstruse look ; neither ogling through an 
impudent eyeglass nor staring at vacancy ; neither biting 
his lips, nor strikiug the air with clenched fists, nor utter- 
ing harsh expletives. When he came, he did not tear up 
on a mettled chai^r covered with foam, nor spring 
cavalier4ike, and summon a groom with a voice of wonted 
command, nor rush up<m the host, with torn accents, for 
brandy and wat^, nor chuckle a pretty barmaid under 
the chin with the leer of a rau4, nor whip his boots with 
a disHngui air, <»r a sportsman's flourish. 

Yet he had two eyes, one nose, one mouth, hair upon 
his head, fully dressed, his feet resting upon the floor, while 
he was looking upon the bright, red coals that fell and 
sparkled from the burning wood. He had entered his 
name upon the office-book, and taken a room. I have for- 
gotten one thing. He was not in love, neither meditating 
an abduction. 

(Dear Knick ;* Allow me to apologize for so minute a 
description, exact and just as it is, by saying, it is highly 
essential so to do, to compete with the present description 


by Google 

114 En Eelyik's Kernels. 

of all heroes we read of, figuring in stories : and jon know 
one does not wish to be isoUUed^ when his pen is appearing 
before the public I Verhm sat.) 

"Sir I did you ring?" 

The guest turned listlefielj, and his eyes fell upon an 
orbicular-bodied, little, pompous man, who had opened the 
door, and was approaching, rubbing his hands with a 
corresponding sympathetic, forward nod of his head, 
while his face was ornamented with a bland, hotel-like smile. 

"I did not P (Quietly.) 

" Ah 1 beg your pardon, sir." Pause, while the bustling 
little man pricked the fire, and looked up the chimney, and 
punched the fire again. 

"I admire that blaze; don't disturb it." (Queru- 

" Ah ! beg pardon ; was not thinking." And the little 
man looked out of the window. Then he placed a chair 
that stood awry ; then he looked at his guest, who was 
looking into the fire ; then he pulled hard upon his crarat, 
and settled his heary stomach lower into his trowsers; then 
he fumbled some keys, and a co|^r or two in his pockets, 
and finally jerked out a bandanna pocket-handkerchief, and 
made a loud cracking noise with his nose ; that is, he 
blew it. 

" What the devil do you want ?" and the eye of the 
guest scanned the little man. 

"Ah I beg pardon: no offence I hope. Thought I 
would come up and see if you were comfortable. It is 
rather chilly, sir." 

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Laitdlobd Wtfb. 115 

'* Somewhat !" replied the guest. He hod read his man, 
and was again calculating the distance from the fore-stick 
to the coals. 

" Yes," said the host, with a heavy breath, redudng his 
gastric r^ons perceptiUj by so doing. 

Another pause, in wludi the pon^us host, somewhat 
puzzled, squared a table, and kicked up a charred cmder 
into the fire. Then he arranged a mantel-ornament, and 
did not like the change, and replaced it. Then he ven- 
tured again : 

'' It has the i^pearance of a frosty night." 

** Ah 1" respcmded his guest. 

" Well, I hope you will make yourself comfi)rtable, sur." 

''Thank you." 

*' Sun !" said the landlord, as he returned to the office. 
''Sam ! did you ever see the gratiemanin Number Two 
before ?" 

" Never, sah P 

" Well, Sam, say something else ; you are too short, 
disrespec^il. That's aU Number Two4iays : only replies. 
He's a deviMsh queer subject : something wrong, eh ?" 

" Dunno, sah. Looks like^ hun be a g^nbleman, si^." 

" Sam 1 watch him !" and Landlord Wype ran his eye 
over the name recorded. " Paul Pirn, M.O.M.O.B. ; and 
that's strange too. What does M.O.M.O.B. mean ? eh, 
Sam I Depend upon it, Sam, there's something wrong. 
He' must be watched." And thrusting his thumbs into his 
waistcoat-pockets, he wheeled, and faced the grinning 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

116 £iT ElELYnr's Kebnsls. 

" Yes, Ssm, watched r 

" P'raps, massa, he is incog," 

"In what r 

" Cog, massa ; dat is, don't want to know hisself.'' 
And Sam rubbed his large flat nose, uid looked very wise, 
while Wype paced hurriedly to-andrdro, and looked wise, 


" Eh, Sam, Number* Two. Go up directly. Haye 
your eyes open. Be on your guard." 

" W-w-why, massa, you ahnost mi^e me scared ; but 
de Lord is my shepherd." And Sam limped away. 

Friend of old memories, Clark, did you erer see a negro, 
oyer a certain age, that was not foundered, nvumed, or 
crimped in some extremity, or that had two whole eyes I 
Well, Sam was of full age and had all these necessary 
colored perfections. 

" Wall, massa," said Sam, outside Number Two. 

" Come in." 

''Yes, sah," and the African presented the most of his 
head, which was nearly corered with a grey, grizzly coat 
of wool, while his feice was darkened by a flat substmce 
called a nose. 

" Yes, sah." 

" Ebony, approach !" 

" Yes, sah." 

" Is your name CsBsar ? Pompey ?" 

" Sam, sah." 

" Ah I Sam; thatOl do-^ort. Wdl, Sam, I intend 

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Lahdlohd Wtpb. 117 

tarrying here some tiine. I want a great deal of attention* 
Post-office twice a day, boots ready blacked, and meals in 
my room ; and, Sam, I wish no intruder, or interruption 
of any kind." '^ 

''Sartinly, massa. Dis chile is ob dat complexion. 
Dat is, massa, I will see yoor orders obeyed.'' 

'' Sam, yon look derer ; and hark ye, can yon keep a 

'' Like de dark grare, massa." 

'' Here, Sam ! I belieye yon. Here is some change yon 
can stow away f<»r a rainy day. My business is secret." 
And Fanl Fim, M.O.M.O.B., and the AMcan held close 
conyerse, until a double rap outside closed the conference. 
It was Landlord Wype. 

"Ah I b^ pardon, Mr. Fim— Sam !" 

" Remember my charge, Sam." 

" Most 'dubitably, sah ?" 

" My OTders haye been giyen to yoor seryant, sir," 
exclaimed Mr. Fim, turning his eye upon the carious 
host and again into the fire. "Are your terms ^in 
adyance ?" 

"By no means, dr ; all r^ht, sir. Breakfieust at seyen, 
dinner at one, tea at six, sir. Meals in rooms, extra. 
Suit yourself, sir." 

" Ah I very well. I have informed Sam. 

" Yes, sah, de gembleman has 'formed me." 

" Good night, sir," said Mr. Fim. 

" Good night, sir,» said Mr. Wype. 

Digitized by VJOOQ IC 

118 Ejt Eelyht's Kernels. 

Prior Wype was a faxmj, pompons, obsequious, kind- 
hearted, snsiHcions, crednlons, officious, inqnisitiye man, 
with a small head and ponderous stomach ; slightly 
bald, and wore a hardrstarched collar, just grating his 

He slept uneasily that night. His dreams were a mix- 
ture of pugOislic encounters and fowning attention. In 
one he had bodily and boldly attacked Mr. Fim, extracted 
the great secret, and had been carried triumphantly in a 
sedan-chair by the villagers, and made chairman of a 
meeting, the object and determination of which was to 
subdue Independent Tartury. During these visions he 
had severely pounded his innocent wife, and finally 
awoke with an exhausted, ancient, and moldy feeling, 
which obliged him to swaQow an extra allowance of 
Santa Croix and bitters to revive his flag^ng ener- 

" Sam, have you waited oa Number Two V 

" Yes, sah ; he has broken his fast. He be a gemble- 
man, sah ; I no tlank he's sui^issus." 

" What have you discovered, Sam ?" 

" Nothing petiklar. But what he say now and den, I 
put toged^, and think I can say he is no bad pusson ; and, 
massa, I thing he be some big 'un in cogP 

"Well, Sam" (mildly), ''ferhaps it ma/^ be so. I 
think he is high bred, and we will act warily.'' 

" 'Pend on't he's over and above. He writes a good 
deal and seems to study more. He looks into the fire. 


by Google 

Lahdlobd Wtpb. 119 

aad I see his Iqw moTe* Dat is all I see out ob de way, 
massa I'' 

'' Ah I well, I hope he is no had character, for the sake 
of my hoose, Siq^KMdng, Sam, 70a take up a bottle of 
champagne. It may do good." 

'' Most 'dnbitablj, rah; A good dodge.'' 

Knock — knock — and Mr. Pirn was intermpted. 

" Gome in.** 

''Tes, sah; massa's compliments." And Sam under- 
took a wink firom his dear eye. 

" Very good, Sam ; and dinner ?" 

" We haye fresh cod and be^iteak." 

" Well, Sam, bring up ; and my thanks to Mr. Wype." 

Now landlord Wype was excessiyely excited, and not a 
little annoyed at the studied silence <^ his guest. Mr. Pim 
paid his bill weekly ; was much reserved, and conyersed 
but little. With Sam he was more communicatiTe, and 
this suggested^ Wype he might have designs upon his 
servant and take him away. Between unexplained circumr 
stances the host began to wear a care-worn look He had 
consulted his wife with great caution, hoping to be in part 
relieved ci his increasing anxiety. 

Mr. Pim tock a wdk twice a day, and generally in 
the same direction, following the road due east, until lost 
in a copse of wood some half a mile distant. 

Urged by his insatiable curiosity, and goaded by dissatis- 
faction, Prior Wype determined upon a cruise of explora- 
tion ; and accordingly put in execution this liberal e;iter- 
prise, allowing his guest some half-hour's start. Not a 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

130 Ejt Eelyin's Eebicbxs. 

corner, fence, nor nndnlating ground escaped his vifflon, 
nntil he espied the object of his search seated beneath a 
maple, reading a book. 

" It is yery singular ; devilish queer,'* said Prior Wype. 

The rattling wheels startled Mr. Pirn, and looking up, 
met a courteous bow from the landlord. 

" Ah I Mr. Wype, will you take a passenger 1^ 

And immediately the poor host found himself with his 
mysterious guest going — ^he knew not where. 

Prior Wype had as yet discorered nothing as to the 
intentions of Mr. Pim (who had been with him now some 
ten days), and driven by extreme curiosity, rallied his 
courage for a leading question. 

" Do you belong to the army, sir T^ 

" Yes, sir ; to ^Ae great army.'' 


" It might be so called.'' 

" I see upon the book some initials.'' 

''Which shall be explained before I leave," resolutely 
replied Mr. Pim, turning eagerly upon Prior Wype, who 
met his eye, and stammered : 

" Ex-cuse me, sir." 

" Yes, sir. Do you know of any reckless dare-devil I 
can depend upon for a few days, who will do as he is bid, 
even if blood is the consequence 7" 

" My God, sir — ^I — ^I — don't j w-w-what is the busi- 

" I will see yon againi sir. I have to get out here. 
Thank you." 

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Landloed Wypb. 121 

Between great tear and intense excitement, Prior Wype 
turned the first comer and pushed eagerly for home, deter- 
mined that his house should be no harbor for such a person 
as he had now fully convinced himself Mr. Pirn was ; a 
dangerous character ; a person intending high mischief, or 


" Tes, sah. Why, massa ! yon look pale ; what Is the 
matter ?" 

'' That devilish major must be attended to (U once. He 
intends murder, Sam — murder 1" 


" Yes, Sam, he wants Tom Spill to help hinu'' 

« Y-ah— yah." 

''You black scoundrel, laugh again and I will flog 

" Massa Wype, who is major P' 

" Number Two. He didn't deny the title ; and I 
think he belongs to a set of pirates, or brigands !" 

When Sam turned away, there was much meaning in a 
sly, stray smile wrinkling about his big flat nose. 

That afternoon was spent by the landlord in a confi- 
dential talk with sundry ndghbors, all of whom fully 
indorsed his fears and counselled immediate action. Mr. 
Pim was considered (using all charity) a dangerous man, 
bereft of principle and piety. Some of the neighbors 
enlisted in the secret ostracism had u^y-favored damsels, 
whose virtue must be preserved for themselves, if not by 
themselves, for Mr. Pim was not malformed. Before 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

122 Krr Kelvin's Kernels. 

morning, the qnkt village was fnll of surmises and excite- 
ment, andfMr. Pirn, M.O.M.O.B., was fearfully discussed 
and imaginatiyelj torn to shreds. 

The object of all this discussion and curiosity, mingled 
with bitter suspicions and trembling fear, had quietly 
returned from his walk, and as quietly retired- to his room. 
His bell had summoned Ebony, who informed Mr. Pun of 
the present condition of affairs. Sam was fully in the 
secret, and enjoyed it exceedingly. 

The Tillage clock clanged eight, p.m. Mr. Pirn was 
once more measuring the distance from fore-stick to red 
coals, while by his side, outspread upon the table, lay. 
" The Beauties of Irring.'* 

Rap — ^rap — ^rap. 


" Ah ! Mr. Pim— aloneP 

" Quite so, Mr. Wype.'' 

" Hem f Keep comfortable, sir, I hope V 


" Mr. Pim — ^hem I You spoke yesterday of a bad chStr- 
acter to help you." 

" I did." 

" Well, sir ; we don't have such personis among us." 

" Ah I Quite a moral community, egad f hardly ered- 
ible ; human nature, you know, Mr. Wype,- is treacher- 

" True," (trembling). " But, Mr. Pim — ^major, I mean 
— ^I am a peaceable man, and have kept a respectable 
house " (here tl^ landlord used his pocket-handkerchief 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

V Lahdlobd Wype. 123 

upon his face, which was teeming and exuding from 
eyery pore agonizing drops), while Mr. Pirn sat musing 
upon the crackling wood, with an occasional sharp glance 
upon his victun, while his cigar gave slight symptoms of 
ignition between his fingers, in small spiral columns of blue 

" Well, sh*, this is satisfectory.'' 

" Your question yesterday" 

" Ah f yes — ^for a thorough-bred ruffian — I have made 
other arrangements — ^much obliged, Mr. Wype (sternly). 

" Oh ! — other arrangements, Mr. Pim ?" while a pale- 
ness stole over and settled upon Prior Wype's face. 

"Yes, sir — decidedly — and in consequence, shall be 
obliged to leave in the midnight coach." 

" Lord have mercy 1" and Prior Wype fell upon his 
knees ; " Mr. Pun, you have ruined me 1" 

" How is this, Sir Landlord? What do you mean? Have 
you not received your full tale of all charges ? Do I still 
owe you ? Have I begged, borrowed, or stolen from you ?" 

"No — ^no," whispered Wype ; "but the black deed you 
have done ! Oh 1 how could you make my house such a 
resort ?" 

" Now, Mr. Wype, rise ; have done with this weakness. 
Very likely I owe you an apology ; but, sir, what is done, 
is done. Now, sir, I leave to-night, and have ordered 
Sam to prepare my luggage ; but I am willing, and 
tmU give you ample satisfaction. You will please give 
notice to your Selectmen to meet me here in my room 
in one hour." 


by Google 

124 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

Landlord Wype raised his head, body, and legs, and 
there was an animate, silent happiness in them all, as he 
moved to the door. It was opened, and closed upon the 
reviving proprietor. • 

Mr. Pirn sat down ; a hearty yet silent cachinnation 
troubled him, until tears filled his eyes. After a space of 
some minutes, he rang the bell. 

"Yes, sahP 

" Gome m. Sam, when I ring again, be on hand." 

" Yes, sah — ^yah — y ■ " 

" Entire silence — ^you can go.'' 

The village'clock clanged nine — ^the hour when Prior 
Wypo and the three wise men were to receive the great 

Mr. Pim heard the opening and shutting of doors, and 
confused voices below. He imagined the meaning. 
Wicked to the last, he agam made other arrangements, 
and was pacing the room with a troubled look, as he was 
summoned to the door. He opened it but partially, to 
see the panting host, well backed by sturdy yeomen — not 
three but six. 

" Ah f Mr. Wype ; you will pardon me, but I find I 
am necessarily blocked, for the present. I have letters to 
write, and papers to fill out, and you will kindly excuse 
me, untn eleven ; I shall then be ready, and will ring 
my bell.'' 

Hard breathing and suj^ressed whispers filled the hall ; 
but they faded with the dark objects who went below, 
beaded by Psiqi^Wype, and seating themselves before the 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

LAsmxjoRD Wtpe. 125 

fire, q)ened dark and mysterioiis converse vs. Paul Pim, 

Number One favored burglary* 

Number Two soggested a spy. 

Nnmber Three qx)ke of revenge, as the object. 

Kmnber Four agitated abduction of Sam. 

Number Five, elq)ement with some young lady. 

Number Six, madness. But Prior Wype argued murder, 
in the first degree. 

All were harmonious in 8uq)eeting somdking and tAaS 
something was feared to be highly criminaL The post- 
ponement of the meeting was aUy discussed, and means 
resorted to whereby the victim should not esci^ them. 
Two were placed beneath the windows of Mr. Pim's room ; 
these were armed with clubs. Two in the upper hall, and 
two at the entrance ; while Prior Wype was by turns 
visiting all, and supplying them with the fortiter in re, l^ 
carrying hot toddies, and assuring them of his hearty 
cooperation in the event of a struggle. 

The clock clanged again ; it was ten. Mr. Pim was 
napping it, in view of a night's ride. The sentinels were 
still on guard ; but one outside was found dozing up(m his 
post— supposed to be fircan hot poculents. 

Mr. Pim sprang up, rubbed his eyes, and looked at his 
watch, as the musical peal of the clock chimed the hour. 
Snuffing his candles, and poking the fire, he rang his bell, 
and was busy stowing away papers, as ihiQ valiant Fal- 
staffian committee entered. There was no lack of courtesy 
on the part of Mr. Pun, but his visitors were very mute. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

126 Ejt Eeltin's Eebnixs. 

and eyen Prior Wjpe showed unmistakable evidences of a 
mutiny, made conrageons by his numerous police. 

And now, Mr. Pim haying seated the committee, stepped 
aside and opened the meeting. 

** Gentlemen, I dare say I address those who are inyested 
with public power. You are called upon by your friend 
Mr. Wype, to stand godfather to the secret which is about 
haying its birth. Circumstances render it imperious that 
I should be brief in my explanations, as I must leaye in 
the midnight coach, and haye arranged accordingly. 
Gentlemen, instigated by humane impulses, and for the 
mitigation of Mr. Wype's feelings — and, further, for your 
own benefit — ^I haye inconyenienced myself much, in 
allowing myself to be thus publicly discussed. Gentlemen ! 
it would be, and, in fact, is, quite unnecessary for me to 
appellate myself a modest person — ^but I am. I haye 
neyer sought notoriety. I haye never accepted office, 
from the fact I never had it offered ; but presuming it 
might be, Fll assure you, gentlemen, I should not even then 
accept, unless it paid well. I premise thus far, to 
convince you my intentions are generous, without egotism 
or vanity. 

" I am the son of a poor clergyman, and was educated 
very strictly." (Evident sensation. Prior Wype hitching 
his chair nearer to his righthand man, and whispering.) 

" At the age of eighteen, I left home : on my departure, 
my father called me into his study, to give me his last 
benediction and counsel. I well remember his serious 
aspect, gentlemen, as also his sage advice. To tell you all. 

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*."•*>• * Vi -. • . A^ 

" 1 

i t. 

•\ tt I. ;i '«.-' ' t ' \ ■' 

li i 

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Landlord Wtpb. 127 

would scarcely be proper ; bat in finishing, he gave me a 
letter, to be read once a month ; and as I seatedmjself In 
the coach, he wayed his hand to the driver, and approaching 
the window, said, low but distinctly : * Paol, remember the 
initials yon will find in yonr letter-^M.O.M.O«B^' and 
bowing, he withdrew, and I rolled on. I need not say-^ 
but win — ^time has gathered that venerable man to his 
fathers, and he is at rest. Bat with him was not baried 
his advice. However far I have strayed from his righteoas 
ways, I have conscientioasly clang to the memorable 
initials, and which now stand opon the book bdow. It 
has always created some sorprise — and more talk ; bat 
this I pass over, knowing haman nature is extremely 
meddlesome — ^highly iQastrated in the Resent case. I have 
seen it has made Mr. Wype anha|^y, who evidently has 
vaccinated yoa all with the trae vims ; and I fear the 
disease is prevailing moch in yoor village. I am the cause, 
no doabt, gentlemen ; I regret, exceedingly, to be aware 
of this fact ; bat it cannot be avoided. Yet there is 
always a physician at hand, and as I have been the cause, 
so I can be the cure.'* 

At this interesting juncture, the sound of distant whedfl 
came upon Mr. Pirn's ears. He stepped to the door. 

" Sam I is my luggage all ready!** 

'' Yes, sah.** 

** Gentlemen 1 1 will no longer detam yon : M.O.M,O.B., 
when filled out prop^ly, reads, and en^hatically means : 
Master of iwy own Business ! Gentlemen, good evening P 

There was bat one sound heard distinctly, and that 

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128 Krr Eeltin's £bbkel8. 

emanated from the immenae cayem of Sam's jaws. It 
was, Yah wah 7 Yah chee ! Yah hoo I 

The horn sounded without, and Mr. Pun, attended to 
the coach* by faithful Sam, closed it again&t him, Prior 
Wype, his wise police, and the quiet Tillage, foreyer. 

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Literary Empiricism. 

** What cracker b thb s^c, tbat deaft our ears 
With thia abondanco of sapcrflaoof breath T*' 

Kuro JoBH. 

Thebe is a difference between truth and error ; an 
axiom which needs no argument to substantiate. There is 
also a distinction separating fact and fable, or the heir 
from the impostor. We dig deep and build high for walls 
to defend the prince, and lavish the treasures of the realm 
to engu*dle his brow with a crown of erudition and wis- 
dom ; yet, beyond the ramparts prowls the dark designer, 
with his cunning and his treachery, as the lever and the 
fidcrum, to topple over the lawful inheritor, while frequent 
errors and careless sentinels allow him to creep in to test 
his strength. As in the medical profession Doctor San- 
grado still moves, in his own weakness a tome of skill and 
Experience, while in reality a mere charlatan, so among 
mankind are those professing great possessions yet sadly 
adrift from the actual eiy oyment. 

As mortals, we are imperfect ; nor can we, at any time, 
age, or by fortuitous circumstances, attain perfection, 
neither speak nor write words or sentences that breathe 
of perfectness. The reason is obvious : we are each and 
all biased by our own idiosyncrasies, which hinge upon 

6* 1^ 

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130 Ejt Kelyin'b Eebnels. 

the peculiaritj of temperament to a greater or less degree. 
A neryoos man, stimulated bj excitement, becomes 
absorbed in a subject, which he attempts to declare, and 
he proves a clever essayist, or a terse, epigrammatic orator. 
Still, he fails to create a fellow enthusiasm in the bilious 
man, who, cool in spirit, has that perfect control over self 
which the nervous man often courts but never wins. This 
difference in temperament constitutes the pabulum for all 
the discord of mind, be it in 'Hhe high places of 
earth,'' or among the less aspiring. Whichever tempera- 
ment is paramount, yon will there detect sentiments of a 
peculiar nature signalizing their origin by their fruits, 
usurping the place of all others ; the reigning monarch of 
thought and of action ; and one has treason in his heart, 
dare he lift his head to open his lips in argument. 
Themistocles' exclamation, " Strike, but hear me P is 
made subservient to the more modem imperative "Off 
with his headP 

There is a vein, nay, an artery, in the organization of 
society, which to many minds needs a purgative for its 
purification ; but the nature of the physic or the method 
of administering, mm inventus est. There needs the upris- 
ing of a mighty Esculapius, whose nod shall be as potent 
as that of puissant Jove ; for man has becolne mechanical 
in thought as well as in movement ; the power that shook 
high Olympus could hardly rouse him from his lethargy. 
Alas! the god Somnus, who upon Cimmeris slept a thoih 
sand years, has his imitators and his adherents. It is this: 
the channel of thought is clogged by the wrecks of so 

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LrrE&A.BT Empibicisii. 181 

many endeavors of purblind mortals, who, greedy for 
immortality, burst upon the world with a glow-worm light, 
and faded into shadows, that others (and others are many), 
steering up the stream without helm or compass, snag 
their unballasted boats and sink likewise, while their spars 
and hulks are left decoys for the next endeavorer. Man 
thinks not for himself; his originality is lost in the fatal 
speciousness of the false apostles of rhetoric and of elo- 
quence. The mind of the errorist is like a field sown with 
wheat, wherein creepeth the tare to choke, and the rust to 
blight, without the slightest attempt to eradicate the one 
or prevent the other ; and the result is, the soil, capable 
of bearing a golden harvest, is negligently left to produce 
naught but bimrenness or abortion. Weeds are indigenous 
to aU lands; but the fragrant rose and the yellow com are 
obtainable only by carefulness and labor. 

This artery, pregnant with impurities, pervades the 
entire system of society, until you see its effects upon and 
throughout the whole mechanism. Yarious excrescences, 
which attain a decayed maturity, and whose fruit, as 
gran^hildren, are cast upon us for endurance, are observ- 
able in daily life. Perhaps it may be novelty of style and 
sentunent, the mere gewgaw of the brain; but it is, never- 
theless, fEir-reachmg in its effects, and always with a pro- 
clivity to baneful issues. The unprincipled penny-a-liners, 
" authors," as they are honorably called, are they who 
flood our youthful minds with a subtle spirit of wildness, 
which needs but the circumstance to image the monster. 
With 41 scintillation of evil craftiness, and an inspiration 

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132 Kit Keltik's Ejxiocls. 

that cometh not from Gtod, do these writers undress their 
brains of ideas full of fearful meaning to the inexperienced; 
and so canning is their weft, with its hues of bespangled 
gold, that, like the apple from the hand of Eye, it is taken 
with avidity, and with an indiiference to consequences. 
The inward torture tells the deluded yictim at the eleyenth 
hour that a serpent has been eherii^ed. Such readings 
follow ^ the absenee of mental discipline, and a desire to 
imitate some thoughtless ones who haye passed through 
the brushwood. Imitation rather than originaUtj is the 
inception of a state of powerlessness. All concede that 
" the mind is the standard." Our vade mecum, we look 
upon the handiworks of God with awe, and yet with 
admiration. The golden sunset, and the silyer moonlight ; 
the soft eye of woman, and the rosy prattler ; are subjects 
we contemplate with pleasurable interest. A gratuity it 
is we cannot transfer ; a treasure more precious than tho 
cedar of Tyre, the gem of Sardis, or the pearl of Oungun- 
nah. And yet we abuse it, both in a constant application 
of its poweiffi, and a total neglect of its capacities. The 
one abuse is injurious, the other criminal. The one 
uncommon, the other so frequent that it di^usts. 

There is a large portion of mankind who, with a 
physical eneryation and a lassitude of mmd, allow others 
to feed them, and swallow the nourishment, be it a worm 
or a sparrow. Now, these public caterers are those who 
haye suddenly discovered their capacity of being " blown / 

up,'' and even in their thinking it is done : shallow-pated / 

fellows, with an enormous abundance of ego non tu, and 

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who imagine themselyes elevated far above the general 
talent. How thej have crawled up the ladder none know^ 
bat there thej are, soaring aloft in an element ill-becoming 
their snperlatiTe ignorance. Perhaps it is a lectorer, whose 
subject fayoring s^iooffliefis attracts the well-meaning, and 
who by apparent zeal and enthusiasm in his trade gains 
friends. He has a ready and Tolable tongue ; a fall eye, 
that can at the shortest imaginable notice film oyer with 
moisture ; an untiring loquacity to dog your ears with 
balderdash and cant. P^aps his subject allows a margin 
for humoroos display; if so, it is well used. A fund of old 
anecdotes and nursery rhymes is gleuied from Thomas' 
Almanac, or Mother Goose, and altered to fit ; while the 
imagination, let loose to its utmost bounds, picks up orna- 
ments crushed and withered by nse and time, that hare 
been in requisition since Jubal drew the bow, to feast 
and edify his auditors, forsooth I Shade of Syntax and 
ashes of Lindley Murray, can you lie undisturbed 7 

Perhaps it is a rejn'esentatiTe of reformers from certam 
pernicious Tices. His pedigree may savor of the awl or 
the needle ; it matters not, so he has a flippant tongue. 
Inveigled by the idea of being known as Timothy Straw, 
Esq., the Reformer ; of being foisted before the community 
— ^nay, the world ; looked upon by bright eyes, and 
''lionized" by weak men and silly women ; why, the poor 
man feels he has changed ; that his mind has suddenly en- 
larged; that he undertakes no more than a natural 
capacity dictates I Puffed with flattery, his yanity fed to 
satiety, he is as conspicuous as Dr. Law, or Prof. Enow- 


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134 Err Kelvin's Kernels. 

ledge, and, in fact, better known than the profonndest 
logician or belles-lettres scholar. O tempora ! Six months 
agone, with an indifference at once brutish, this same wise- 
acre was picked from amid the common filth of self and 
street. Shall the picture be painted with a deeper shade 1 
^ay, in it there is more tmth than romance. With a 
change as sudden as death to the living, 1^ is transformed 
into a public man, and ** ail the world and his wife " hare 
gone mad after him. He is the last noyelty ; the last 
sutler for an army of morbid palates, and proves the ap- 
petizer to whet the taste lost by indolence and base excess. 
The thunder of the Roman Yatiean could no more displace 
him from the hearts of the people than could Csesar have 
turned from crossing the Rubicon. Like an electric shock 
does this mad enthusiasm pass from one to another, until 
all mouths open but to pronounce hun the most natural 
orator and ^fted man before the public. 

Is this really so ? Has our master talent ; our ideal 
chief of eloquence and of song, been covered by living rags 
but as a disguise to be suddenly thrown off to our greater 
amazement and surprise ? Impossible ! Some may believe 
it, some will not. Well, then, from what cometh Uns love 
of mental change ? Agam : it can be attributed to an 
absence of mental discipline ; to the lack of originality of 
thought, which leaves others to write, speak and think for 
ourselves. Admit that it is fashionable; that it is treason 
against mind ; an unpardonable breach of etiquette ; an 
open-mouthed slander to speak other than in praise of hun 
who makes the welkin glad with shouts of acclamation ; 

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liinsiLBY Empiricism. 135 

him of the public desk and clamorous tongue, and mounte- 
bank oratorship ; shall we too bow the knee ? God save 
the mark I 

Manifold are the ways to ride into-publicity, and many 
are the competitors. One covers hunself with a mantle of 
righteousness, another smiles would-be courtepy while act- 
ing the boor. Hie world is the fool ; he the Solomon. 
Like a walled city are we, hemmed in by superstition, igno- 
rance and imposition. 

There are certain defined rules of energized thought 
which, if not ordained, have become regulated and estab- 
lished by time, and in the pursuance of which the result is 
not problematicaL It is known before tested, and with the 
ordinary experience of control, the profound writer can also 
be the true prophet. He has his course, and his charger is 
at his Tolition. Give th^i the right speed or the right 
check, and the flying chariot is the object of all eyes to 
gaze upon in rapt wonder. Its shafts are of iron, its im- 
petus from God ; what obstacle can delay, or what power 
of earth can impede ? But let the course be uncertain, the 
charger untamed, and the progress is tortuous, while the 
Tehicle puUed by unequal exertions is cracked, broken and 
crushed ere the gazer has turned. And yet with these 
wrecks about as monitors for the future, there are Jehus 
ready, aye, eager, to pull taut the rein and bury the spur, 
while admiring thousands stand by to encore them on to 
madness. As a ship, beautiful in symmetry, majestic in 
her bearing, with hatches battened upon a precious cargo, 
can yield plenteousness to her owners, so the mind with 


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136 Ear Kelvin's Kernels. 

Goltore and application can moke the yanlted heayens ring 
with praises, and distil upon the heart the oil of gladness 
with the music of sweet adulation. It is the Eden of 
existence. Ambiticm is natural, failures are unfortunate, 
and condemnation is cruel ; but where the one o'erleaps 
itself, the second follows as a contingency, while the sup- 
plement is but its final portion. Could we listen to true, 
common sense, allO¥ring ourselves no untutored master, but 
watch the movements of a well-cultivated mind, then might 
we expect a rich increase to moldy treasures half hid be- 
twixt indolence and imposition. Let us bum the brush- 
wood to make viable the stalwart oak. 

Imperishable &me is won by deep concentration and an 
unrelaxed assiduity ; but it is not this prospect that cre- 
ates the new apostle. He has not thought so far onward 
yet. The preset is his enjoyment, his intoxicating 
draught. A natural distrust whispers to him ** Now ;^ 
and blinded by the uncertain glare of his own phosphores- 
cence, he stumbles on amid hope and fear, until gathering 
to himself fresh courage and quickened confidence he brays 
with asinine clamor, " I am Sir Oracle I" and around him 
congregate a clannish sect of partisans, ready to follow him 
to the death. There is no profession, no pursuit, no trade, 
hut these intruders have their circus. Like anti-Chiists 
they are ; like to such, let them be so entertained. 
Deplorable, truly, is the reign of a tyrant, and mortifying 
the endurance of ^a known empiric ; yet more deplorable, 
more galling is the fact to sensible persons that one arisen 
from his own dunghill, moveth among us and partaketh 

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Lttesaby Empiricism. 187 

of our dainties with that air of assumptioB which forceth 
abeyance. The canvas upon which is painted such a pic- 
ture is before us ; a moving panorama. Run as we maj, 
with our ears stopped, the bells that herald the train are 
ever jingling at our side, ringing the harsh discord that 
merit dies at the approach of pretension. 

Thus has it ever been, thus will it ever be. The esta- 
blished word of God is our declaration ; though by no 
means compcilling us to shut our eyes at the sight and 
endure with patience. Action is the only achiever ; Mind 
the onl/ helmet that blunts the cast javelin <rf envy or 
charlatanry. We would shake the good man jfrom his 
stupor, the sensible man from his repose, and whisper, nay, 
bellow in their ears, that wdves are abroad in sheep's 
clothmg, stealing from cotes the leader and the lamb ; while 
for all unlettered pretenders, the artisan sa/ns his appren- 
ticeship, would we erect a guide crested with a finger of 
iron ever pointing with stead&st significance to letters 
which read : ** Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit 7 
— ^there is more hope of a fool than of hun.'^ 

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Colonel Easy. 

Eyery one knew Colonel Easj. He was familiarly 
called Easy Colonel. Parson Quiet knew him ; Esquire 
Short knew him ; Judge Bluff, of the adjoining county, 
knew him; and the Honorable Mr. Stiff knew him. It 
was " How are you, Colonel, and what news have you 1^ 
He liyed in a gabled-roof house, just on the comer near 
the Hotel ; an old house, sacred to him, because his 
father's fEither built it ; and he was very serious when 
time crumbled away an old pillar that siq)ported the 
portico, and obh'ged him to r^lace it with modem wood. 
The interior was pleasant : old family portraits looked 
down from the wails, and a spread-eagle protected an' 
antique mirror by being perched above, and gazed below 
with open beak. The kitchen, too, looked south, and its 
old comers were cosy ; and fireplace, oven, and painted 
beams above, claimed near relationship by smooth poles 
stretched from one to the other, supporters for sausages, 
seed-corn, etc. The Colonel loved this place ; and of an 
evening he smoked a pipe here, and laughed out of his 
eyes, and chatted with a neighbor and the parson, and told 
many frmny stories. This old kitchen was cosy. And 
then the lawn, with elms, and maples, and oaks. His 
father played here ; he had played here ; his sons had 


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Colonel Easy. 139 

played here ; eyery blade of grass was dear to him — ^why 

As I said, every one knew the Colonel. The boys in the 
parish, as he passed, took off their caps and whispered 
one to the other, " There is Colonel Easy, a good man. I 
wish he conld hear from his son; how long he has been 
gone ! Papa says he owes Colonel Easy a great deal, for 
he got his contract for him ; and I know Esqnh^ Short 
never wonld have gone to the Legislatore if it hadn't been 
for the Colonel ; and Jndge Bluff never wonld have had 
the say about hanging * poor Tom ' if the Colonel hadn't 
got him his judgeship." And so it was. Colonel Easy 
had inherited an easy property, and, when young, dashed 
some ; had always been the poor man's friend ; had 
benefitted others, and not himself; had placed his parson 
in a lucrative position, and sent Senator Stiff to Washing- 
ton, and helped Judge Bluff to the bench, and endorsed 
for Esqmre Short, and a great many farmers; had 
educated an expensive family, and, at the age of sixty, 
found his property dwindled to a small amount ; enough, 
though, he hoped, to bury himself and companion; but he 
was forgetful of contingencies. If any one found himself 
in trouble. Colonel Easy was the man ; if advice or calcu- 
lation, why. Colonel Easy could do it ; if pecuniary 
assistance. Colonel Easy ; and so it had been until it was 
a common saymg, " Colonel Easy cares for everybody and 
not for himself." Yes ! Reader, he was a '' cfever " man, 
and did many cUver things, hopmg, by so doing, to carry 
out the Scripture admonition : ** Love thy neighbor as 

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140 Ejt Eelyin'b Kernels. 

thyself.'' He had always granted faycffs, and never asked 
a retnm, that his many kmd acts might prove bread cast 
upon the waters in time of need, if such a season should 
eyer come upon hun. Hnman nature smiled in the crea- 
tion of Colonel Easy ; a godsend to many, a blessing to 
alL Why should he have burdens of sorrow, heavy trials, 
and sore afflictions 7 Alas I he was of the earth, earthy, 
for ** the rain falleth upon the just and unjust alike." The 
poor Colonel had shed bitter tears over the loss of two 
noble sons, and he mourned in bitterness for his first-bom. 
Three scions clustered about him and opened a bright 
future for his old age, but two &ded from his sight, and 
the other strayed from his calL He was childless, and yet 
his eye spoke kindness ; his heart went forth to others' 
relief, and he was the same good, easy Colonel Easy. 
Perhaps the uncertain fate of his son Paul agonized him 
more than the death of his other sons ; and sometimes in 
the gloaming, when the day had passed, a tear could be 
detected stealing from its covert upon kind wrinkles; yet 
the sight of his life-partner would dear it up, and the 
pleasant smile stood over the wreck. On a Sabbath at 
church, too, when Esquire Short's pew was sometimes the 
nucleus of all eyes by the return of his son from sea, the 
lips of Colonel Easy would tremble, and his hand invari- 
ably shaded his eyes; he could not help it; but his 
devotional air seemed more deep, and himself more con- 
trite, maugre his intense sufferings. No one inquired of 
liim for Paul, for he had never heard from him since his 
departure. He had ^grown up with dissipated habits, and 

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Colonel Easy, 141 

in a wild frolic had wounded a companion ; and, before the 
result of his rashness was known, fled his home and coun- 
try. This was the history of the Colonel's agony, which 
he had endured for twenty long years. But for his son's 
wild passion the Colonel had made full amends ; the 
wounded boy he had educated and cared for as for his 
own. It was no less a personage than the Honorable Mr. 
Senator Sti£f ; in fact, he looked upon him as a substitute 
for his lost Paul. Had it not been proven, before this 
unfortunate family trouble, that Colonel Easy was proTer- 
bially a kind man, his great considerateness might have 
been attributed to domestic sorrows ; but no one, to look 
upon his face, could discover a cuMvated nature ; it was 
innate. Not a needy dwelling in the county but had felt 
the generous aid of this philanthropist. 

But the shadows of life began to lengthen and thicken 
upon the Colonel's pathway. It would appear that, like 
unto Job, the Almighty had permitted Satan to harass 
him for His own wise purposes, and with the swift feet of 
evH had visited his friends, to steel their hearts against his 
misfortunes, as also to bring troubles in frequent repeti- 
tions. Senator SUff, for whom the Colonel had largely 
endorsed, ever open to the memory of the injury he had 
sustained, as it were, from his own hand, died. suddenly at 
Washington, with larger liabilities than his assets could 
cancel. The villi^ merchant, a debtor for heavy cash 
sums loaned, had failed, and put an end to his existence. 
Farmer Worthy's buildings were destroyed by fire, and his 
delinquencies were fearful ; all which riveted the Colonel 

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142 Err Kelvin's Ejxnels. 

stall more fast in close and awkward circumstances. He 
began to feel and fear. People said, "the Colonel has 
grown old very fast. Poor man 1 I hope he will find a 
quick return for his life-long services erf deyotion to others. 
Surely, Judge Bluff and Esquire Short could easily advance 
all necessary aid, for the Colonel taught them how to do 
well in the world.'' The Colonel lamented that he could 
assist no more, but must mk assistance. A very quiet 
letter was sent to Judge Bluff, and a note to Esquire 
Short, couched in manly language of distress. He spoke 
of no previous business ; he touched no chord of memory ; 
it was merely f(N* present assistance, and they could do it. 
He was sanguine that all was right. Return post brought 
the following reply from the Judge : 

•• ruAM^ Stftemb^i^^ 18—. 

**Faul East, Esouuib. 

** Sir : Tour letter of the 12th, requesting a loan, is received 
I regret, Sir, to say, I have made such a disposition of my read} 
cash that it would materially inconvenience me to favor you at 
this time. Hoping your many friends will appreciate your neces- 

** I remain your obedient servant, 

"R. Bluff." 

The Colonel read it, wiped his spectacles, and read it 
again. It was from a person to whom he had rendered 
numerous pecuniary favors, and who owed his political 
position to him. Esquire Short's answer was also before 

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Colonel Easy. 143 

** Tuetday Morning, Sept. la 
"P. East, Esq. 

** Sir : I was surprised to receive your note this morning, 

considering your utter inability, present or prospective, to return 

me at any time the sum you desire. I had supposed that your 

heretofore honorable course of conduct was a sufficient guaranty 

against any such equivocal exposure of character. Of course, Sir, 

my expensive family prevents me from indulging you in such *a 

strange vein. 

*^ George Short." 

The Colonel bad not recovered from this unkind and 
ungentlemanly reply when the Judge's letter arrived. He 
could scarcely believe it, and yet the truth was before him. 
He had played the benefactor, and was reaping the usual 
reward. Other sources failed, and he gave up the game, 
retiring into a state of feeling unhappy beyond measure. 
There was but one more step ; he strove to avoid it. He 
resorted to all his fertile resources, yet there was but one 
viidon before him — an enture relinquishment of his all ; the 
old gabled house, the kitchen, the lawn, the trees. His 
heartstrings were breaking, but the same pleasant face 
covered all. 

One October day, the inhabitants of the quiet village 

of read with sorrow the following notice in the 

county paper : 

**A8SiaNSB*s Sale oi* Real Estate. — ^By order of George 
Short, Esq., Commissioner of Insolvency, the Subscriber will sell, 
at Public Vendue, on the 10th of December, at ten o^clock in the 
forenoon, all the right in equity which Paul Easy, an insolvont 
debtor, has to redeem his farm, lying in . 

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144 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

*' This farm in one of the most desirable and productive in the 
comity. On it are a large gabled-roof house and two bams. 

^ For particulars inquire of 0. J. Acton, or the Subscriber, at 

«*E. B. PUBHMAir. 

" October 10, !$-.•• 

But the wind was tempered to the shorn lamb. Before 
the " ides ^ of December had come, the thick darkness 
had been dissipated, and the Colonel's eye was moist with 
joy and happiness. His lost son Panl had returned rich, 
from a long residence in South America, and the old gabled 
house, the kitchen, the lawn, and the trees, were still his. 

Beader, you have read tales without a moral, but there 
is one intended here. I need not define it : But do you 
know any Colonel Easys? Are you protdgds of such 
an one 7 Have you received kindness, and returned it 
not? Have you received bread, and given a stone f 
Have you felt the kindness of others, and repaid them in 
selfishness ? Is there any truth in this little ti^e 7 Was 
there ever a Colonel Easy 7 

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Wave and Wood: or, Jack's Journal 

NO. II. 

Reader : " Lovest thou to look upon the beautiful P* 
Then " Thou art the man V^ I would that you might have 
gazed upon a sunset just passed ; soft as the perfume oi 
roses the eve, with the waves unruffled, and " Old Ocean'' 
at rest. It was as though the spirits of departed artists 
had met in solemn conclave to give to mortals their golden 
ideas of heaven, and dipping their brushes in the dazzling 
prisms of the rambow, perfected upon a western canvas 
their pieces immortal — ^resplendent, mellow, enchanting, 
gorgeous — ^hke everything beautiful of the Creator's 
handiwork, " who layeth the beams of His chambers in 
the waters." 

There are those who can look upon such a scene without 
emotion ; without recognizing Omnipotence ; without grar 
titude for life, with such an abundance of varied delights ; 
but I pity and commiserate theu* assunilation to unre- 
flecting brutes. A storm at sea, with the piping blast and 
mad-heaving wave, surging in suUen roar, continuous and 
increasing, presents a man with startling feelings of his 
own insignificance ; and so does a sunset ; the one fearful, 
the other beautiful ; the one stifelyne, the other enrap- 
turing. Come and look upon the contrast. It is what the 
sailor sees, studies, and feeM. God in legible print has 

7 115 


by Google 

146 Krr Eelyin's Kernels. 

given you giad opening blossoms, aroma from fresh-mown 
hay ; landscapes with the mountain and yallej, gurgling 
stream and rushing river ; the verdant spring and dying 
autumn ; the morning dew and evening quiet ; axkd all are 
beautiful. He has given the sailor none of these ; but 
sky and water^ sunshine and tempest, ever-varying betwixt 
sorrow and gladness; and think not these are without 

Mom has fdlowed that sunset. It is the holy Sabbath — 
peaceful and quiet The waves, as if conscious of the day, 
rest from their wildness, like tired childhood. Aurora's 
chariot, bright in burnished splendcH*, with prancing steeds 
fresh from the chambers of the east, is rolling up and 
onward,resplendent in beauty, scattering abroad and around 
rich, warm sunbeams. Merry chimes of tuneful bells are 
calhng you to sacred portals. Not so here ; and yet it is 
well, for God is omnipotent, and the " Sea is His, and He 
made if 

Napoleon has said, ''There is but one step from the 
sublime to the ridiculous." I cannot resist the idea of 
giving you here the mingled groups brought together upon 
this world-ferry. It is no more amusing than truthful ; 
" cabined, cribbed, confined," you have the wild, rollickmg, 
gay, officious, melancholy, jocose, fun-making, sour, laugh- 
ter-lovmg, noisy, wise, alent, meddlesome, retiring, anxious ; 
sleepy, fearless, sleepless ; temperate, gourmands ; abstain* 
ers, intemperate, polite, crude, polished, mdiflFerent ; old 
travellers, clergymen, young begmners ; infidels, rich, pre- 
tenders ; generous, eccentric, listeners, gallants, smokers. 

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"Wave jlnd Wood : ob Jack's Joubnal. 147 

** specimens of humanity/' gentlemen ; governors, scholars, 
agents, ambassadors, attaches ; musicians, " owls,^ Honor- 
ables, Esqoires, ** Misters," and all other characters ever 
made or seen, save the beggar and the miser. Do you not 
think we have a variety, essenced — aye oiled ? Hogarth's 
pencil and Wilkie's humor might find satiety. How many 
"Editor's Tables" are there also? After our Editor's 
transatlantic cruise, I look to see the Kiuckerbocker* 
thus noticed : " Our worthy brother, Gaylord Clark, we are 
glad to welcome home once more. We have barely sun- 
vived his absence ; but from certain floating whispers, his 
" Editor's Table" will be so enriched and embellished with 
experience in the " Old World," that we shall almost hope 
he may cruise again. So far as we are concerned, Putnam 
can close his door, and send us nothing for six months to 
come. We have cleared our throat, slippered ourselves, 
and are anxiously waiting for a sight of the old arm-chair 
and the venerable occupant." 

The ancient city of Chester is situated southwest from 
Liverpool some sixteen miles, upon the river Dee. For its 
antiquity and memorable associations, no town in England 
stands its equal. Its origin is of very remote date, but 
no reliable conclusion has as yet settled its exact founda- 
tion. In A. D. 61, the Twentieth Roman Legion garrisoned 
the place, and the walls were built, the same being 
extended in a. d. 13 by Marius, son of Cymbeline. On 
the point of its very early settlement, " King's Vale Royal" 
thus discourseth : " The first name that I find this city to 

* Published in Knickerbocker^ February, 1852. 


by Google 

148 Err Eelyik'b Eebnels. 

haye been supposed to haye borne, was Neomagns ; and 
this they deriye from Magus, the son of Samothes, who 
was the first planter of inhabitants in this isle after Noah's 
flood, which now containeth England, Scotland, and 
Wales, and of him was called Samothea ; and this 
Samothes was son to Japhet, the third son of Noah ; and 
of this Magos, who first built a city eyen in this place, or 
near nnto it, as it is supposed, the same was called 
Neomagus. This conjecture I find observed by the learned 
Sir Thomas Elliot, who saith directly that Neomagus stood 
where Chester now standeth." Under the memorable 
achievements of Julius Agricola, it became a Roman 
colony, and so continued for two or three centuries. It 
now contains twenty-seven thousand inhabitants. Amid 
its quaint old streets, tune-battered walls, and ancient 
cathedral, the stranger finds a large field for contemplation. 
The walls, built of soft freestone, are nearly two miles in 
circumference, and command an extensive and beautiM 
prospect of the surrounding country, embracing in the 
distance the hills of Wales. 

It was a clear day in September when I visited Chester. 
A soft, hazy atmosphere threw a dreamy mellowness over 
the landscape, and with the winding Dee before, the richly- 
cultivated meads around, and the grim old peaks in the 
distance shooting heavenward, the view was charming. 
I know every one does not recogm'ze the beautiful or 
reverence the antique, but I pity the man who can stand 
upon the embattled memorials of Chester and enjoy no 
novelty of feeling or delight. To stand upon, walk upon. 

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Wave and Wood: or Jack's Jouenal. 149 

tmA touch the yerj ramparts of the old Roman Legion 1 
it is impossible to be thus situated without a strong 
feeling of qnaiiUness. Clark, you can appreciate this 
element. And do yon remember that beaatifollj simple 
old song, commencmg thus : 

**The mo«n had cfimbed thebifbcit bill 
That rliM o*er the loorce of De«,'* ete. 

This old harmony blends appropriately with the reveren- 
. tial feeling ; and, summing up all, you find yourself trans- 
fixed with a silence only equal to your dreaming mood. 

Among the many things of interest in Chester, I 
segregate those which I fancy will please you most. The 
walls are the only perfect specimen of Roman fortification 
now to be found in the kingdom, and perhaps no sight- 
seeing in England would impress a stranger more forcibly. 
Here he stands upon the yery work which has stood 
nearly eighteen hundred years. It it like addressing viv& 
voce, the dead of centuries, conyersing with them in our 
own peculiar tongue, and scanning their grim yisages with 
optics of 1851. This would be the first emotion firom 
which to recover; and as you emerge firom this living 
tomb of feelmg and memory, by degrees you find, scattered 
here, some rich and glorious evidences of a past race, and 
there, some faint tracery of an almost forgotten nation. 
O Tempus ! " how have the mighty fallen V^ The prestige, 
once a halo encircling the names, Yespasian, Trajan, Con- 
stantine, and the Caesars, has faded into a venerable 
shadow, so dim that you go softly for fear of chasmg it 

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150 Err Kelvin b Eebnels. 

away. Bat this is life I Happy the man who can walk 
with a quiet conscience eyen amid the humbler ayenues of 
life, and at last compose himself calmly for the yoyage to 
those regions from whence no nayigator has eyer returned. 
What a port is that 1 — ^the hulls and colors of all nations 
therein, but from which anchorage no piping blast or 
howling storm shall drift them, May it be ours to shun 
the reef and gain the port I 

Of the many relics discoyered in Chester, you haye 
Roman payements, altars, corns, yases, rings, medals, 
stones with inscriptions, statues, tiles, and other indications 
of the dead race. Some thirty years ago, an altar was 
exhumed — now at Eaton Hall — ^upon which was this 
inscription : 


■ T 



y y 

Pure water springs up on the side of the town where 
this altar was found, which, no doubt signified such a 

It is no more surprising than true, that, until recently, 
no spirit of inquiry or curiosity has been inyoked by the 
inhabitants for these local antiquities of so renowned a 
nation. So biased are they to gain, self-emolument, and 
obsequiousness to nobility, that these precious speaking 
memorials haye neyer been appreciated ; and, I haye no 
doubt, the American, an obtruder upon the monotonous 

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Wave aistd Wood: ob, Jack's Jouknal. 151 

rontlne of English life^ has started the Rip Van Winkles, 
and sent them after their senses. Not an inch of all 
Wales but would have been explored, had it been XJ. S. A. 
in lieu of G. B. This very indifference, this vm^ippreciative- 
n^ss of tlie past, aa w«ll m ignorance, I am. boto, hoa sev- 
ered links in the grand chain of English local history^ 
which will never be recovered. 

The King's Scliool, founded bj Henry the Eighth, is an 
iiisUtntion savoiing of the liberality of the States* Twenty- 
four boys, of poor faiuihca belonging to the chnrch, are 
maintained kere for fanr or Jive years. They most come 
understanding the radimenta of grammar, and " given to 
learning," while the course of instruction is such as to 
qualify the pupDs for any of the Uterary profeBsioua or com- 
mereia] pur^uitSL There are^ also, the Diocesan and Mar- 
qajsi at id Marehioccsa of Westminster's Schools, The for- 
mer has about two hnndred pupib ; the latter {gratuitona 
for the poor^ established by the Marqnis) is capable of 
holding eight hundred. 

From Ch^ter, some three miles south, is Eaton Hall, 
the home of the Marquis of Westminster. It is considered 
the best modern specimen of the pointed Gothic in the 
kingdom, coniprisinj^ a centre and two wings. It ia of 
stone, of a light color, brought from Deljuuere Forest ; 
designs furnished by Pordon, The biiQding has been 
undergoing repairs for the past five years, and will not be 
finished for another twelve months. From this fact I was 
miable to enter and see its spacious and chastely-decorated 
iQomBt although I naade a ameere appeal in buttons and 

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152 Ejt Kelvin's Eebnels. 

the band ; and hence lost the view of the hall, saloon, 
anterooms, dining-room, drawing-room, library, the great 
staircase, state bed-room, and chapel. In front yon have 
a scene eminently beantifol : groves, gardens, the conser- 
vatory, mountains of Wales, Peckforton Hills, and Beeston 
Castle, with the gentle Dee, charming in its windings. I 
need not say here you have the perfection of English 
scenery. It is a survey that charms the eye, feasts the soul, 
and makes the pretensions of man and all his labored inge- 
nuity sink into insignificance. 

The present marquis is of the noble house of Grosvenor, 
and traces his descent from illustrious Kormans. At 
Eccleston, a pleasant little village two miles from Chester, 
stands prominent a church of Gothic structure, built by the 
tnarquis, one of the best specimens oi this <Hrd^ in Eng- 

Eaton HaH is a lovely place, centering in a park three 
miles square, and, methinks, embraces all a mortal can desire. 
If you seek pleasantness, it is here ; if beauty of God's 
world, it is here ; if quietness, it is here ; if sj^ndor, it is 
here ; if abundance, it is here. But there is a vale I know 
among the hills of New England, a companion I know, a 
gleesome boy I know, could I have at all times round me, 
Eaton Hall, its beauties and splendor, might fade in the 
distance. The effect such places and scenes have upoQ me 
is to make me appreciate more and more what the Creator 
has bestowed, while I am thankful I bear evidences of one 
hailing from a free and happy republic. My country 
-r-Qod bless her 1 

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Sir Roger Inkleby's Story. 

•* Thei^ Ifl a spootal proTidence Id the full of m apLrrov, If tt be noir* *tls not 
to come ; If R bo not to c^me, U vllJ be udw, If \% he bq( duit, fat It wlil] oania." 

An excellent old man was Hoger Inkleby- As fdl of 
wisdom as experience, experience aa age, age m temper- 
ance and regularitj could command by the will of God. 
It was my good fortnne to know liim in the prime of his 
eHvery locks. With a smile as pleasant as sunlight j a 
heart crowded with good intentions and kind thoughts : 
with a will to execute strong as life ; with advice sincere 
as valuable j with sympathy warm as his fiiendship, was 
Koger Inkleby. He was called Sir Roger to perpetuate 
his universal benevolence. An evening passed with him 
became one better than the enjoyment of the evaporating 
frivolitiea of gayer life. But he is now entombed with the 
worm of the grave, yet his face is painted upon, and his 
vu-tucs framed for, my memory. 

" Come to-morrow evening/^ said Sir Hoger, " and I 
will tell you a story. 

" My story is a life fact," commenced Sir Roger. " To 
you it may be instructive, and still more, yon may remem- 
ber it to benefit others ; for you know," turning his plea- 
sant eyes faO npou me, ** we love to do ifood, at least wt 

%m us 

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164 Krr Ejxvin's^Kernels. 

should. No one lives without power. No matter the 
rank, condition, or place. Each has his influence upon 
the other. It is in action, conduct, and speech. In the 
home, the warehouse, the desk, the field, upon deck. It 
is in the eye, the walk, the dress ; for the latter is as 
much characteristic of the man as his face is the index 
prefacing the life. Brutes recognize the fact. A mild cur 
you see with a gentle master ; a savage bull-dog with a 
wretch. And yet, incontrovertible as this is, it is little 
regarded — ^too little by the parent, less by the guardian. 

" Philip Marlowe was my intimate classmate in college 
— a young man possessing peculiar and noticeable traits. 
He was a good scholar, a gentleman in his manners, and 
apparently easily read. He was ambitious, cool in design, 
shrewd, cunning, and rashly bold. He played deep with- 
out suspicion or failure. Yet, in all things, he lacked one 
essential principle. This was effectually covered by his 
master tact, and he always passed as the model student. I 
fancied he suspected my confidence in him was not strong ; 
but he pursued the right course in such a case — ^flattering 
me with his Mendship and reliance so far as his policy dic- 
tated. Unexceptionable in his easy conversations, princely 
in his ideas, he charmed me, and although I loved him, 
yet there was something fearful in my suspicions that the 
evidences of friendship were clever advances to convert me. 
I have shuddered as I caught, unawares, his eye upon me. 
I never could relieve myself from the idea that he sus- 
pected I knew him better than he desired. The sequel 
demonstrated it. 

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Sm BoGEB Inexeby's Stoby* 155 

** It is a fearful thing, my young friend^ to live under a 
disguise one^s life-time. But there are those who do it. It 
may be the first you meet in the street. It may be the 
father, the counsellor, the elder, the preacher, the merchant 
in high esteem, your friend. Did jou ever think of it ? 
In order to know, you must observe. Pass not blindly 
through life. Live to learu, Wattih tlie lip, the brow, 
the eye. Study the semblaaee between the utterance and 
the action. Mark the gift and the sulijcct^ the fu?or and 
the grantor. The politician takes you warmly by the 
hand, he speake warmly, protests warDaly, promisej? warmly, 
despises you warmly. The speculator of friemUliijj whispers 
a golden word to you, and bites off a damnmg point 
against you. He effects hia object, triumphs ; 'tftm suffer. 
ITic man clamorously zealous in adrocatiug moral and 
divine precepts, imploring^ with streaming eyes, * Oar 
Father/ is a consummate hypocrite. After the fire the 
still email voice. Tkit was of God. It was Goi The 
merchant, rich in his crowning guppers, is a bankrupt and 
a Villain. All this and these may be successfully veiled for 
ycara, but not for all time. Just retribution will develop, 
wiU scorch, wili incinerate. Ton can readily suspect iAat 
matt who declares the most for your interest, ITie cat 
needs but to watch to catch her prey* 

"Through the period of four years, Marlowe and myself 
were mostly together. By this singular friendship I gained 
character, for my classmate was highly esteemed by the 
Faculty and loved by all The young ladies f^miled more 
Bweetly when Marlowe addressed Ihem j but he looked 

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156 Kit Keltin's Keenkls. 

apon womeD as ornaments merely, that wonid not hesjt 
handling without losing lustre. 

" It is instructive as well as pleasant to follow the move^ 
ments of good chess-players. The pieces are before each, 
and the same opportunity to win offers itself, if the one is 
as practised as the other. But there is a wide difference 
resting upon the same talent, deyeloped in a cheating game 
of cards, where the sleeve or other covert hides the ace 
that gives to and talLes from. I contend human nature is 
more easily studied where there is the more to occupy the 
minds of the many ; for instance, a city. The pressure of 
obligations is esteemed security from detection, but to the 
accurate observer it is the very signal of distress, 

** So successfully did Marlowe play his part at our gradua- 
tion I almost denied my suspicions. Indeed, the jury of 
my conscience stood ten for acquittal and two for conviction ; 
still those two were very tenacious of their opinions. The 
usual result took place — ^a discharge ; for we pursued dif- 
ferent avocations. Before we separated, I received much 
good counsel, and many excellent suggestions from Mar- 
lowe, such as could exist only where there was actual belief 
in the same. 

" Disgusted Mrith all professions, my friend chose mercan- 
dise, and soon after gave me his reasons for so doing, the 
chief of which hung upon bemg known as the first in the 
world of traffic. I remember his words : * Surprised you 
no doubt may be ; yet, Roger, I can make more of a sen- 
sation in this sphere than in the professions. Note the 
margin I have ; and you know, ambition that is tevct- 

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Sir Eogeb Inzleby's Story. 157 

pered with godly incentives shonld never tremble with 

"Could this Napoleon of ambition have buried the 
hypocrite twin of his nature, what a prince would have 
lived, and what a blaze of glory would have been extin- 
guished at his exit ! 

"Life instructions are varied as they are numerous: 
some pleasant, more bitter, neither continuous, though by 
far the longer not the sweeter. It is holy will that aU 
should be taught from the same great page ; likening 
mankind in this wise to the world of infants, for we all Bead 
our A B C's. If the bitter be not now, yet it will come. 

"With a mmd peculiarly adapted to grasp at diffi- 
culties, and with sanguine confidence of eventual success, 
my class-mate worked on. The younger world began to 
buzz his name. His affable manner and eloquent tongue 
won admiration. With his usual coolness he selected his 
partner, and the business world chronicled the birth of 
another house, Marlowe & Muldonald, names which since 
have passed east, west, north, south, and beyond oceans. 
Eich in experience, tried in wisdom, the dder world now 
began to buzz the name of Marlowe. He was first on 
'change, and first in the estimation of the business commu- 
nity. His drafts were gold, his words like so much silver, 
his name everything. He had won with a character* 
beyond impeachment. When we met he was the same, 
grown slightly subdued with the massive weight of cares 
and an enviable name. His counsel was sought to pro- 
mote great enterprises^ ^q4 documents with his autograph 


by Google 

158 Krr Kelvtn's Kernels. 

were synonymous with success. With this hold upon the 
world, I almost fancied that he would continue 'to merit 
his proud epithet. But beyond our own ideas of recom- 
pense must we acknowledge that which belongs to the 
Creator. He has assured us the smner shall not go unpun- 
ished. Regardless of his position, there is no rank in the 
scales of God^s justice whereby the greater can be weighed 
with less fairness than the smaller. Like merchandise for 
market, each one's net is scored upon the tally-book, and 
if he had previously passed for worth beyond his value, the 
honest reduction will come finally. This doctrine has been 
blown by the preacher into all quarters, substantiated by 
aggravated cases ; and yet, temptation before, and a clever 
covert beside, have proved the more powerful of the twain. 
And this is it. Could the errorist know the last act 
of his drama, his courage would quail to perform what 
hope for concealment has encouraged him to do. But 
grasping ambition, intolerable pride, ungovernable selfish- 
ness without prindple, are subtle spirits to nourish. They 
prove themselves mutineers that need only circumstances to 
develop destruction. Every one has a desperate spirit. 
The best heart that ever dictated wholesome truths, has the 
alchemy of revolt against, all statutes, divine and legislative. 
It is not golden ease that furnishes the proof of such exist- 
ing property, but poverty or ambition will fairly elucidate 
it, blotting from the argument the natural wretch — a coin 
of crime. 

"Imagine yourself positioned in the velvet chair of 
miquestionable estimation, with a name echoed for pattern. 

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Sm EoGEB Inkleby's Stoey. 169 

a credit limitless, attended on each hand, supported by, 
encircled with the body-guard of imposed trust, and you 
have the case of Phihp Marlowe. At this peroration of 
life had my class-mate arrived. A slight silver upon his 
hair showed the mental and physical struggle by which he 
had attained this acme. He bad passed into niidOle life^ 
overcoming obstacles, creating business, aiding 'enterprises, 
bestowing cbarity^ gathering a name. 

" I found upon my table one evening a note. It waa 
irora Marlowe, requesting me to call upon him punctually 
at ten the following morning- I fuUilled hia wish, and 
fomid him In his morning wrapper. But he was much 
changed. The pallor of sadness, a liop^iless expression, 
was upon bis face. Tet h© took mc kindly by the hand, 
and told me, with peculiar earnestness, that he bad sent 
for me to confess <me Ufc-deccption. 

" * Roger 1 I have known smce we were da^e-mates, that 
pou suspected my honesty. But by my uniform bfe, I have, 
no doubt, blinded and confounded you. Yet before night, 
not only you, but the world, will know I have played my part 
devilishly eleven I shuffled the pack to ydn^ but have finally 
lost/ and leaning forward with a look of terrible bitterness, 
in a hoarse whisper be added ; ^ It is all ambiiion withmU 
pHfinpie !* 

" For an instant bis eyes glared upon me, his lip qui- 
vered, be essayed again to speak, but fell heavily back. His 
bead dropped upon his chest. He was dead 1 He had 
swallowed poison. He bad been concealing and carrying 
on a seri^ of forgeries, by which means be bad entered 
into private speculations of great magnitude. But a severe 

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160 Kit Kelvin's Kebnkls. 

reyerse had fallen npon him, and he saw no other method 
of ayoidlng the damning resolts bnt soicide. Toward me 
he had always shown a nniform kindness, but to the 
world at large, while feeding it with the supposed pabulum 
of deference, he was merely using this as the saccharine to 
surface the deposit of gall. 

" The melancholy case stunned the world. Public cbn- 
fidence was staggered. Capitalists were dumb. Every one 
shuddered. Mutual reliance lost one trusted pillar of its 
base : temptation had proved a Samscm, and pulled it 
down amid the mangled pile of expectation, hope, and 
dependence. The tree that bore the delicious firuit was 
but of ingrafted growth in the commoner orchard of 
humanity. Had principle guided the man, his ambition 
would have been righteous. He would have erected a 
mausoleum that would have withstood the gnawing tooth 
of obloquy and sapping jealousy. His name, like Wash- 
ington's, would have passed down to posterity poltehed by 
age, the prince of merchants, the man of worth. 

" Let existence be guarded by jwinciple, and life, with 
all its phases of sunbeams and night, will gather honey 
from every petal, that will sweeten and nourish the * slip- 
pered pantaloon ' of age : and when Death, with his skele- 
ton chariot, makes his imperious call, you bid the last fare- 
well to accompany the relentless driver upon that return- 
less ride 'mid the sincerest sorrow of following hearts. 

" This is my story of a h'fe-fact. It has a moral ; and 
he Is wise who will profit thereby : 

•' • Reftd ye the lesson— heed it well.* " 

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Mental Culture. 


Frou history we derive our knowledge of ttie past. All 
eras, epochs and events which have transpired and haTS 
momentous bearings are recorded fur succeeding genera- 
tions, Wliile it is a duty conceded by all that the fathers 
collect passing rt^ults as recordi* for the children, we have 
to thank the Creator for endowing man with the desire to 
save from oblivion facts j while we are grateful to the 
created for the labor given to this end. 

History to the world is what inheritance is to families : 
for u^, instruction and advautage, A tcxtuary to prompt 
and correct, to warn and advise I A segregated portion 
of incidents it may be, yet that the most weighty and 
necessary. Wisdom is wanting without kuowMge ; results 
Without action. We cannot walk by wUling or speak 
without thinking. For what purpose is the mind ? Why 
have we power to enlarge and ennoble it I Can it be for 
aggrandizement, to feel superior to those less gifted, to rust 
without the wear ? Nay I It is bestowed for good ; for 
friendship and love | for convicting others of errors, and 
arousing your fellow from opatliy and indifference ; to aid 
in all measures^ the object of which is to benefit mankind 

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162 Krr Kelvin's Kernels. 

and promote the better will. The youth rebels against 
application, and his mutinous spirit is fed by indulgence. 
The fond parent, easy with the reins of government, is 
nursing his child with a condiment that strengthens the 
passions without improving the intellect. Perhaps he is 
himself neutral as to mental food, and his son is but a 
truthful representative, with the increase natural to here- 
ditament. His mind, good ab inUio, left to swun amid the 
commonplace bubbles that float upon the surface, is but 
resting for a perverted purpose, though not for crime, 
plainly for ignorance, which is the precursor of wickedness. 
Can we follow the troop of ragged children to schools and 
books 7 A negative is here as emphatic as the truth is 
serious. There is an absence of taste arising not entirely 
from circumstances. We are all inclined to stray mentally 
as well as morally^ and many there are who needunrelaxed 
efforts and peculiar incentives to a favorable bias for 
knowledge and a desire to inform the mind of the Past as 
well as of the Present. 

Mind without culture is but a field open to ignorance 
and superstition, errors and deceits ; a grand preserve for 
burrowing mice and infesting gnats. In our day of won- 
derful improvements and railway progress, we can learn 
and improve ourselves by reviewing the course of those 
who flourished centuries ago. The ancients, fired with an 
enthusiasm for perfecting benefits and a strong relish for 
the nobility of exertion, quickened the appetite to dilate 
the mental eye, which we with all our stunulants may not 
easily effect. Strict disciplinarians, noble examplars of 

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Mental Cultueb. 163 

heroism and knowledge, their children conld do naught bnt 
admire and follow to the battle-field or the formn. Time 
and custom have worn the point to a blnntness ; and 
without action we shall sluggishly tend to idiotcy and 

The same principle that is known in agriculture is 
recognized in mind. We see the industrial labor of the 
farmer remunerated by golden harvests and surrounding 
luxuries : the student arises from his heavy intellectual 
tasks with ideas both enlarged and liberaL The cobwebs 
of negligence are brushed away, while the radiant sun- 
beams of light and knowledge flood his mind with the 
riches of accession which fade only by the providences of 
God. There is likewise a satisfiaction as agreeable as it is 
valuable that fdlows his researches. His spirit of piety, 
benevolence and philanthropy has increased, and he, more 
worthy the appellation of maw, is prepared to give to 
others that which preserves him from shadows that darken. 

What deplorable cause is that which has given Russian 
Nicholas such an unlimited sway over so vast a territory? 
From the land of perpetual snows to the clime of the 
pomegranate and the fig, he governs with ironlike inflex- 
ibility. His nod may be both the life and death of his 
subjects. Fully aware of the potent charm which knowledge 
brings, he studiously avoids the advancement of much 
intelligence within his domains, for it is easier to rule an 
ignorant people than an enlightened. Had the youths of 
Russia the favored privileges that dance continually before 
and around those of our county, what an expression of 

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164 £rr Kelvin's Eesnelb. 

latent energies wonld there be I While we most decidedly 
disapproY^of the rigid measures adhered to by the Bnssiaii, 
we cannot but admire the noble dedsion of his character, 
which compels snch perfect obedience on the part of his 
subjects ; at the same time we regret that snch mighty 
influence should bias to blind and enslave. Allowing him 
the same astonishing power directed in the channel of 
disseminating knowledge, and what a wonderful ally should 
we have in furthering light and intellectual blessings broadr 
cast upon the earth. As change is incident to our exist- 
ence, as changed is written up(m all things, we cannot but 
hope that the dark shadow which eclipses so great a 
luminary will yet pass away, and that the sunlight of 
erudition will yet iHumine tiie regions o( the glacier aild 
the vine, and turn alike the battle-axe and the spear mto 
instruments of instruction and usefulness. 

From the fifteenth century, when flourished Oolumbus, 
Americus Yespucius and the venerable Las Gasas, and to 
whom is due the gratitude of the world for a more general 
circulation of important and interestmg events, we date the 
infection of the philanthropic spirit which discovered the 
printing press. It was a great triumph, and the sages of the 
Alhambra mourned that such an auxiliary for multiplying 
knowledge had not been earlier discov«*ed, and acting upon 
this new-bom spirit, urged their mental powers to greater 
action. In this train of enlightenment we see Prince Henry 
of Portugal, and the best minds of Madrid and Seville, with 
the cosmographers and historiographers, all eager with 
enthusiasm to do and register events for the benefit of their . 

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Mental Odltube. 165 

children's children. Their deeds and noble achievements have 
come down to as, and the schoolboy of the present day is 
now reaping the harvest of the seed sown so many centuries 
ago. Is not this a sufficient inducement to encourage us 
likewise to do ? Does our progress from one generation 
to another in science and general improvement arise from 
inaction or a disrelish for mental advancem^it ? Nay I it 
is the love for study and application. Does one wish to 
raise a monument to his memory, which shall be as lasting 
as the light of that nebula of Roman stars, scintillating 
from the forum, gorgeous in its golden prisms and unfading 
brightness, let him. follow the example set by those who 
lived in earlier tunes. With a substratum of martial 
determination, they mingled knowledge with action ; while 
puissant in war they were mighty in learning. If there is 
anything to be worshipped save the Divme Being, it is a 
cultivated mmd. In our century, so full of wonders, an age 
nearer the climacteric, should not the slogan be Excelsior ? 
Give then the inducements. The voice is well, but must 
be disciplined ere it can produce melody. We have mind 
ready for development, but it needs exertion to evidence it, 
and there is no one so imbecile that he may not influence 
his fellow. A word whispered from the lips of a dying 
mother has saved an erring son. Let us all take our turn 
at the windlass. It is not the " Yo I heave O 1" but the 
tug that lifts the anchor. 

A sad truth it is that we have those about us who 
depend upon foreign bottoms for the cargo they convey. 
They neither read nor investigate ; adults in stature, but 

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106 Krr Keltin's Kernels* 

chUdren in attainments. Unrestrained in youth, left as 
their own masons without instmctioQ in the art, they 
bnild habitations of unbaked brick, ready to crumble at 
the first conflict with the elements. Years have crept 
upon them unawares, and they resort to a ruM both 
nomadic and dishonoraUe. Walking oMbiSf picking from 
this stem a cluster, and from that tree a fruit, until they 
feel like an ^icure after a heavy repast, frill to a despicable 
confidence ; levying, as it were, a ^bute from other 
brains. Hence your plagiarists, vain and conceited busy- 
bodies, emfHrics, putty4ike individuals, for all the world 
like worm-eaten timber with a plausible rind. Their own 
weight they cannot bear, much more an additional pound. 
And unfortunately this class is not small. Like pendant 
worms, constantly annoying while obliging the passer-by 
to watch lest he be assaulted. Can the reason of such, 
bipeds moving among us be unknown? Turn over the 
solid pages of their life, and you will find their history 
reading thus : A substantive without an etymology. Yer- 
bum sat. 

To the mother is attached a re^>onsibility fearfully 
important. She is the archetype of her child, who from 
her receives the stronger tincture, mentally if not physio- 
ally. Sustained by her in early infiuicy, be receives a 
greater bias from her than from the father. And what is 
the result ? The world concentrated in the mother. A 
fact as strong as the perfume of roses is sweet. To you, 
then, mothers, are given immortal minds to be trained by 
you for usefulness or for dishonor. The period cometh 

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Mental Cultubb. 167 

when your sun shall descend the western hill of life. Do 
you desure a setting mellowed by golden Kght, act early 
and act well ; else the dark cloud and sombre twilight 
shall be your pall-bearers to the grave. Bear with you 

the wise adage, " As the twig is bent the tree'a inclined." 
It is not Bupposable that all minds are capable of high 
culture even in the better circles, yet example and decision 
go far in benefiting or perverting. It is commendable for 
parents to incite their children toiuduntry^ yet the industry 
of mind is too much overlooked in the common error to 
beget wealth merely. The old Grecian axiom is her« 
pecnliarly appropriate : '* A rich man witliont knowledge 
i^ like a sheep with a golden fleece." L?^iimatp. fame 
never follows tlie moneyed man. He may have notoriety 
from the fact of his possessing means, but there is no 
dependence upon wealth for a mrww. Thb follows one 
who^ in assiduous reading, has attained the full growth of 
his mental powers. Be he poor, he is stiU respected, for, 
of a certainty, the world at large will recognize his capor 
eity ; ami if " much learning" has not '' made Mm mad," 
he may at the turn of the wheel occupy his level. But I 
would not advocate theory without practice. Ttie mere 
student is only powerful in suggestion, and in tku; not 
alwaya snccesaful. The yonjig theologian maybe prepared 
to enter upon his callings still stale and tedious in address- 
ing an audience of business men, from the fact that in his 
seclusion he has not given himself the opportunity to 
detect the sinuons stratagem or the plausible deception 
which is current in aU ranks. Vov a great man, it is not 


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1^8 £rr Kelvin's Kernels. 

qdIj necessary that he should be thoroughly read, bat that 
he should combine his readings with ohservaHon; thns, 
when requisite to define his position or advance his argn- 
ment, he leaves no loop-hole whereby the barb of the critic 
can pierce to his discomfitore. There is too much of mere 
$wrfaot afloat, without the sabsdl. Hiis snrfoce is easily 
polished, but like spurious metal it will neither bear the 
test nor the wear incident to usage. Were it always 
remembered that the Dather of the mam, is the child, we 
should have more of maturity attained in honor and usefulr 
ness. Banish indifference to mental improvement in youth, 
and hopes may be cherished that his manhood shall evi- 
dence €ha/r(uier. Beget a spirit of constant addition to 
the mind, and the council chambers of our republic shall 
never be echoless of the muMc of eloquence. It is to this 
end that the young should be directed. Let the work 
advance while it is day, for the shadows of eteruity are 
Ming and soon will envelqp us in the darkness of the 
grave ; and how sweetly shall tiie soul rest upon the least 
influence we have exerted during the light of a life-day. 
Look at the blatant, " cut-behind,'' g<^) the precociously 
depraved, with their Billingsgate expressions, bold man- 
ners, and puerile staleness, that are daily before us ! These 
are to occupy places and become actors on the body-poli- 
tic : is there no work ? That crime always existed is no 
argument for us when reformatory measures are considered 
which smell of labor and real responsibility ; neither should 
we postpone energetic action for the next generation for 
the reason that we are not aU robbed or murdered. We 

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Mental Cultubb. 169 

have alrea47 seen the evil of delay. Minds opaque, 
blinded by iUiberality and selfishness, are sent to our Capi- 
tols for honorable seats, while the more enlightened por- 
tions are compelled to Uve under rotten laws and amended 

Bectiona, It is time that tktmgM should precede action; 
that the miad should he catered to as well as the body ; 
that mm should occupy the seats to which hare been 
nailed, as it were, the fod and the fanatic. There ib ft 
method to obviate all tlik ; but it is not found in late 
mveutious or in recent dij^c^Yeries, It was old m the days 
of Solomon ; yet older m the days of Thales ; Btill older 
in our day. Neither is it of the character of a contmdnim. 
It m mental culture, 

From the red warrior upon the ragged cliff, like the 
grey eagle of the mountain, noble in its freedom, have we 
caught the enthusiastic idea of liberty. With this ele- 
ment as a concomitant, mind has progr^sed until intelli- 
gence, like a rich and variegated carpet, covers our Iand« 
Spires of institutions tower heavenward at every pomt — 
symbols of liberty and intelligence. Yet beneath and 
around are cesspools reekmg with the inipndties of igno- 
rance and vice- Does it not behoove us to abate these 
nuisances ? Until this is done we shall not have perfected 
the beautiful design of our beneficent Creator. Let our 
banners which float to the breeze on laud and ocean, bear 
the inscription J " Here is the intelligence of Liberty I" 

But worldly fame and the <^dat of many tongues are not 
the only appeuclagea to this subject. The ports of China^ 
the rivers of India^ the mountains of Circasaia, the land of 


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170 £rr Kelvin's Eebnels. 

fallen obelisks, of the torbaned-liead, of the dark skin and 
tatooed face, tell of other and more endnring benefits. 
The great scheme of salvation is thrown wide-cast the 
world over. I would ask the ashes of Yoltaire, of Rons- 
sean, what has given tiieir bold blasphemies the lie ? I 
wonid ask all speculators in the Christian as well as in the 
business world, what overpowers all heresies or sand-built 
projects 7 Does the unscrupulous promulgator of deceptive 
schemes find aU his proselytes among cultured minds? 
Among what class do we see imposition most practised 7 

It behooves us all, then, to throw our influence to bear 
upon conmion benefits. Let the press which shines for all 
issue truth rather than fiction, the gold rather than the 
dross, the fruits thereof tasted in almost every dwelling, 
America I the Colossus of the Western World, our own, 
our favored land, is not least among the countries of the 
globe. She has mind as well as matter. In her is cen- 
tered the glory of endurance and of exertion, the pride of 
intellect and of power. She has had her Washington. 
And while his ashes rest peacefully among us, let his spirit 
be made happy by marking our progress steadily onward 
to that goal which he in the lustre of manhood heroically 
pointed us ; so that when we i^all have attained his com- 
panionship in the realms of peace, his smile shall be as 
sweet as that which played upon his face when brilliant 
achievement and glorious victory were his to report to the 
Congress of earth. Let the eagle, our symbol of triumph 
and liberty, wing not only the motto, " E pluribus unum,* 
but " Yivimus propter virosque res.** 

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John Brimmer, 

"And the driying la like the ^drlcg of Jetiu, ^e lan of Nl^i^ fof be 

JouN ERrMMER wiflhed to be considered a fast youngf 
man. la some respects lie was. He coTsted another 
appellation— to be a *' brick," The town knows what this 
means, and being a verj abnormal, angular, and defectire 
part of speech, an explanation would be diminishing the 
spicy merit of this eubstautivc. There is some respecta- 
bility attached to the phrase, which is admitted by all ; 
bnt use it in another sense, and the metamorphosis is 
beastly. For instancej he baa a brick in his hat. There 
is, likewise, no necessity for defining this term. It is bet- 
ter appreciated than classified. 

Kow John Brimmer wished to be ranked as a " brick," 
Bathe was not. He did not wish to have it generally known 
that be carried tliis Israelitish curse in his hat ; bnt he did* 
At the same time, he hoped his own fellows would be 
cognizant of the fact that he could waistcoat as many tod- 
dies as any of those who regularly rendexroused at 'b. 

John Brimmer was a modern, a genume '* young ^rni." 
The down on his lip was not beard, but he wished it waa. 
It was more of the squab order of adornment, than hirsute. 
Symmetrically molded was he, after the pure style of 


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172 £rr Eeltin's Kbbnelb. 

architecture, Shanghai — a perfect Apollo of this schooL 
A cold, grey eye ; a colorless cheek ; a ** rismg snn" alti- 
tude ; legs close reefed by nature and improved by the 
tailor, like economically dipped tallows exposed to a Jnly 
son ; a hat slightly upon the port side of his caput ; boots 
that came to a premature end at the toe ; cravat i la 
studding-sail, with a gdt that evidenced a chase affcer 
knee-pans. John Brimmer was encased in the present age 
uniform, for ail the world like that of a charity-school. His 
appearance was like a starved crow, with more caw than 
flesh. The overcoat that be wore would have admirably 
answered foraging purposes in length ; but the waist was 
playing too much bo-peep with the collar to tell of the 
battle and the breeze. His mother used to call him 
Johnny dear ; and he was under a phymcian's charge most 
of the time, poor boy. Mrs. Brimmer was a weak, vain, 
and foolish woman, with a gaudy show of Jewelry and 
flounced silks. She had been made a wife to one who 
** married in haste to repent at leisure "—poor Mr. Brim- 
mer I 

Perfectly acquainted with his son, Mr. Brimmer knew 
he could make nothing of him, but was fully aware that 
the boy would make of hunsdf a jackass. Mr. Brinmier 
was, consequently, slightly indifferent and reckless in his 
paternal position. If he spoke of John as a silly, foppish 
boy, he was met with the response, that '' Johnny was 
young and must be humored." 

Brimmer, Senior, was a sensible man, and eventually 
came to a conclusion, that the mother taint was fiur tbe' 

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John Bbocmeb. 173 

fitronger, and his son's nature could not be changed, and 
likewise, that John would unquestionably "go to the 
deyil.'' In this he was essentially correct, but not without 
seyere attempts to bury destiny in a deep grave, without a 

John hxwi been sent to the country to commence his edu- 
catioiL Hia books were costly bound, with his Dame in 
gilt, like prayer-booka aeeu throogh staitied glass ; hia 
room fitted and prepared for eomfort ; hia locker stored 
with delicacies, sach as ginger-root, sweatmeata, port wine^ 
potted meats, and a fiupply of egga A fishing-rod and 
tackle in one corner and a dncker in the other, A. reTol- 
ver and a small eilv^er-handlcd dagger lay upon the table, 
with several §mall glass bottles, marked " West End," 
.** Mille de Fleur," *' Jenny Lind," and '' Spring Flowers." 
But it waa of no use. Concentration Johnny did not de- 
light in, and too much study preyed upon his health, A 
champagne supper and a case of Burgnudy brought from 
the village medical a letter addressed to William Brimmer, 
E^q., merchant, representing John Brimmer's constitution 
not sul&cientiy strong to endure, as yet, a course of 
studies, and in case it was persisted in, the grave would 
cover its victim. With, this John returned to town, after 
disbursing his fancy effects to his numerous admiring 
friends, by way of gifts, and drawing a sightHb-aft on Wil- 
liam Brimmer, Esq,, alias, the '* old governor,^ for his mx 
months' expenses. The draft was paid by a check drawn 
Bud a deep drawn sigh. John's cunaing carried the day, 
for it could not be supposed that any parent, in the face 


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174 £rr Eslyik's Kebhels. 

of Bach a document, would be so oimatiiral as to nmrder 
his son bj hastening him back to resume his studies. 
. Mrs. Brimmer was piteous and sympathizing, but took 
John the same eyening to a large and fashionable partj, 
and did not return until three in the morning. Jdin was 
" overcome f but tiien he did it in a gentlemanly way, and 
all young men are indiscreet sometimes. This was quite an 
achieyement for Johnny, for immediately after and follow- 
ing it for weeks, did he plunge into excesses with a blind 
recklessness, which was duly appreciated by the right 
ones, and crowned John with the wreath of a fast young 
blood. It also crowned him with marble. 

In a cemetery, inclosed with an iron railing, stmts 
skyward, an elaborate monument. Upon the base is 
carved the name Brimmer. Above is recorded in great 
brevity the demise of William Brimmer, Esq., merchant. 
Just around the other side, in deeply traced gilt letters, 
you read : 


HAinw Dowy 

THB NAMl or 

Jolm Srimmer, 

WHO DIXD MAT 14tH, 18 — . AOID 20 T1AR8 AND 4 MOKTHa 

He leayea an inconsolable widowed mother and a large circle of 
idoliang friends, who admired him for his talents and loved him 
for his many yirtues. He has been early called from the polluted 
atmosphere of Earth to the golden streets of Happiness. Absa- 
lom 1 my son 1 ray son!** 

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John Bbdoibb. ITS 

Po(Nr John fiitded with cooBomptioii, the result of '^his 
many yirtaes." Charity will coyer the direct cause of his 
precodous departure. Bat it is of no conseqaence, for the 
John Brimmers are legion, and an occasional yacancy is 
not noticed, only by the monnment-maker. 

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The Rock and the SkeletcMi. 

Tumbled together, and expressing the vast sublimity ci 
the Ahnightjy is the range of mountains in western Mas- 
sachusetts. Hard tdl and eontmuous industry, have shorn 
their rugged peaks l^ere and there of their primeval dress, 
and given creature comforts to man ; fed the mad engine 
tearing along below, throwing its shrill thanks in its light- 
ning speed, to its towering provider far above ; made red 
the glowing furnaces that melt the ore for all mechanisms, 
and imparted cheer and gladness among the family circles 
that nestle in the green valleys far down their beetlmg 
crags. 'She home of the bear and the lair of the fox have 
been routed by the chopper's shanty, and the silence that 
once was, is now forever broken by the woodman's axe and 
the rude song of the driver. 

As f(»inerly, there is still a strange fancy inducing many 
to pitch their tents and take up their abode high above 
the babbling brook and soft valley in the fastnesses of the 
mountains, where stranger still, between the struggles 
of nature and the determined will of man a nutintenance 
is derived ; but not accompanied with the palatable trim- 
mings of easier life. Among these mountaineers you find 
endinrance with patience, generosity without the ampleness 

of means, and a certain intelligence appMcable to such 


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The Rock and the Skeleton. 177 

cases of emergencies as are often transpiring among them. 
There are instances, also, bnt more formerly than now, 
where the cultivated mind fled hither for a city of refuge, 
to linger in solitude as a penance for early transgressions, 
or to shut from one the world in which neither affiliation 
nor gratitude has been found. 

AmODg^ the earlier settlers of this range there were 
two, Eerry aud Ferr6t. The former wm the elder in 
residence by many years. He had seleeted a locality 
between two peaks on a rising ground, and which orra^ 
looked a small portion of the valley, while above and 
around him was nothing but tree and rock. Eccentric in 
maimers, he was rarely seen in the settlement, and in all 
his necessitous intercourse with mankind^ showed ummstak- 
ablo repugnance to forming any friendly rclatioua. Vari- 
ous rnmors were put in circdation. That he had been a 
Cain, and had done dark deeds tipnn the high seas, and 
liad fled inland with liia booty, aa well to secure it as him- 
self, Ko one doubted his uncommon intelligence, and his 
bearing waa like one who had seen and known much of 
' the great wide world. Connected with his natural and 
unvariable taciturnity, was another circumstance which 
the artless inhabitants below him construed into mystery, 
and which led them to look uix>a this man Berry as ** no 
better than he should be." It was hm daughter who com- 
prised his entire family ; Lina by name, aud a maiden pos- 
sessing great personal beauty and attraction. Her com- 
plexion was more of the land of the oUve and the rine, 
than the rough climate of the north. She was the sole 


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178 Kit Kelvin's Kbbnels. 

mistress of the moantaln-liat, and bore this mmatnral soli- 
tnde withoat complaint. She loved her father, and Lina^ 
m her beauty, was to be admired in her obedience. 

Berry had been established in the mountain, some years 
the sole resident of the peak. Below and around him 
the world gathered its usual fragrance and poison — ^with 
him^a matter of indifference. There existed but one 
medium between perfect solitude and civilization. This 
was one Hack Williams, a well known hunter of the 
r^on. Hack (as he was familiarly called) was a blunt 
woodsman, ignorant yet shrewd, cunning and cool, and 
very jealous of his reputation as a successful marksman. 

West, and beyond Berry's, was a famous hunting- 
ground, known as ''Slaughter-Field," where Hack pur- 
sued his wild life with undiminished success. It was here 
where Hack and Berry first met. The hunter had just 
brought his fox to the ground, and was putting down a 
charge of whisky for luck, as Berry came upon him. And 
there, face to face, stood two beings, in this mountun soli- 
tude, of peculiar and diverse character ; the one like a 
sealed book, the other, candid, blunt, cool, and undaunted. 
Berry looked upon Hack with the eye of an eagle ; while 
the intrepid woodsman, still holding the flask to his IqNS, 
eyed the approacher with the same calmness with which 
his eye was wont to rest upon his barrel that spoke death 
to his game. As he poudied his cup. Hack broke the 
silence : 

" If you don't wish to jine, youm is n't a kindred sper- 
rit. What's your name ? Mw is Hack Williams, a fd- 

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The Book and the Skeleton. 179 

kr ready to do a pious or a devilish arrant, as the natnr' 
of the case may be." 

Berry stood, still reading Hack with that scrutiny which 
had so far served him. At length, stepping forward, he 
extended his right hand : 

" Hack 1 I believe you. I should like to know more of 

** The devil you should ! If your nojne is U^ry, I caii*t 
understand why you want to know me. They say you 
hate God's manufacture in the shape of man. Say I bow 
is it ? If your name isn-t Eeny, hcg pardon for talking 
BO pim." 

** You have gnesaed right, Hack, The Almighty writes 
a legible hand on every man's face^ and if I can read his 
chirography right, I can trust you, eh ?" 

** Don't know nothing *bout Jdrag^ajf^ and keth 'bout 
God ; but I tin tell you, so far m my interest goes, you 
can go a irijk over your length on a trust. Human natur' 
is human natur* the world over, a'pose. Hullo ! there's 
old Bet I" 

At this moment Haek^g hound Bounded up the ridge, 
and throwing his fox over his shoulder he etarted for the 

It was thia seeming indifference that hEtstencd Berry to 
a parley^ and calUng after the hunter, requested an inter- 
view with him at his hut on th« following night- 

" I know where 'tis/' came back his reply. 

The name of the other family, as I have before men- 
tloued, was Perrot, consisting of father, mother, and eon — 

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180 Kit Kelvin'b Kernels. 

Pierre. The fonner bad come from France in early life 
with his father, who had snddenlj died npon the voyage, 
leaving him to push his fortune alone in a strange country. 
He had supposed his Other's pnrse was heavier than he 
found it on arrival at port, and he could not dismiss uneasy 
surmises as to the correctness of the captain's conduct in 
regard to the whole afiiekir. He had, however, no tangible 
proof to aid him, and a new land to discourage him withal, 
be had allowed the matter to pass. Entering into trade, 
be bad prospered and married, but subsequently, specular 
tions bad reduced him, and be bad sought this mountain 
for a little investment and retirement. He bad been upon 
the ridge but a few months previous to Hack's interview 
with Berry. 

Pierre was young and enthusiastic ; of slight figure : 
agile, and well calculated to mold himself to a mountain 
life. He bad often met Hack in the settlement as well as 
upon the peaks, and both entertained for each other a 
brotherly feeling. Hack thought Pierre a gentle, gene- 
rous youth, vastly above him in education, to which he did 
not object, willing to adapt himself to present circumstances, 
and a protigi for the field, which exceedingly pleased 
Hack, inasmuch as he was considered the hunter of that 
region. Pierre saw in Hack a daring man, cool in danger ; 
one m whom be could trust, and in a fearfU emergency 
worthy of all confidence. Hack was strong at the bottle, 
but never with excess, and Pierre, like all young men, par- 
took as were the contingencies. They offcen met at the 
valley hostelry, and while one delighted the other with hair- 

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The Kock and the Skeleton. 181 

breadth 'scapes of a hunter's life, Pierre charmed Hack 
with his flowing words descriptive of la belle France, its 
vineyards and dark-ejed grisettes, as he had received it 
from his father. 

Perrdt had chosen a locality above a mile west and 
beyond Berry, with an ample and delightful view of the 
valley. Hard by his house ran a mountain rill, clear, 
musical, and sweet its waters ; while north, an unob- 
structed view gave him continual evidences of life below 
him. Two high ridges, with their ragged caps, mtervened 
between himself and Berry, and as the latter's taciturnity 
was known by Perr6t, he had sought no interview, and 
they had never met. 

Such were the relative circumstances existing between 
the two mountain families at the time of the interview 
of Hack and Berry on " Slaughter Field.'' 

During the following day. Hack as many times hesitated, 
and as many times concluded to visit Berry ; but finally 
decided to know the wish of the misanthrope, and turned 
his face toward his abode. He arrived at the village hos- 
telry at the foot of the mountain at nightfall, where he 
found Pierre, an unexpected meeting to both parties. 

'* Glad to see you Hack. How is this ?" 

"Wal, I have a kind of serous, rdigous arrant just 
above," putting his eye up the mountain ; "Berry has 
invited me tb tea with him," shutting his mouth closely ; 
" but I think natur might be lifted leetle bit better here. 
Come 1 Uncle Bill's flip is better than raw water," and 
faking Pierre hj tb^ arm, Hack ordered the slings. 

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182 Err Eblyin's Ejebnels. 

Smacking his lips over the glass, Hack looked Pierre fall 
in the face : 

" Own np, boy ! something's <m jonr mind. Sick, or 
tnming pioos ?" 

^* Hack, yon are blont, rough, and meddlesome to^iight 
Bat if you are for the mountain, we will go together." 
And Pierre finishing the glass, settled his cap upon his 
head and left the room, followed by Hack. 

''Wal, Pierre, say Pm blant as an ash sprout — ^it's 
true ; Pm nobody but Hack Williams, bat Pve got jnst 
as strong a hand and as stoat a heart as them fellers 
who have fine coats and soft hands, and if yon didn't call 
it kind o' bragging, /should sayan almighty oght morem 
my favor." 

" So you have, old fellow. I meant nothing. Do you 
know old Berry has a pretty daughter V 

<<Umphl knew 't was a gal affair. Wal, what of that? 
Are you afraid to do your own kissmg V 

" Wish I was in your place to-night." 


** No ! But, Hack, I wish you would take eome obserra- 
tions, and if it comes convenient, put in a word for me." 

** S'posing I should go hankering arter her myself ?" 

" Then good-bye to dd ' Sure Hit.'" 

" Got me there, boy 1 Now that are gun and myself 
never part company till death doth us sever, as some of 
your big writers say. I dcm't know but 'twas one of those 
holy fellers. Wal, what shall I say to her in case I see 
the gal P' 

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Thb Bock and thb Skelbton. 183 

*^ Ion can judge better at the time, Hack. Bat bear 
me in mind and come over my way and stay with me 

" Wal 1 now that's human. Think I wUl. TU kind tf 
look at her and think of you.'' 

As the twain separated Hack soliloquized : 

" I see 1 Guess it's a kind of courting counsel Berry 
wants to see me for. Must have been recently conyarted. 
Gitting civilized at last." 

Arriying at the hut. Hack knocked. The door was 
opened by Lina. 

Kow Hack was no gallant ; boasted of no beauty, and 
thought more of a gun than a girl. But when this moun- 
tain maiden stood before him in all the simplicity of una- 
dorned beauty, and i^x^e to him in a gentle tone, he waa 
entirely confounded. Instead of pursuing a very natural 
inquiry for her father, he stood and gazed upon the girl 
with wonder and delight. 

*' Gosh I how pretty I He said she was.^ 

''Is this Mr. Williams?" interrupted the blushing 

" W-w-why yes. How'd you know ? Ha 1 ha I yes I 
Hack WilliMns." 

" My &ther expects you to-night and you will find hun 
at the little falls above." 

" Do you know Pirarre ?" 

'' I have seen him, sir.' 

** Wal 1 I don't wonder at it. He's taken a liking to 
you — Bo've I as for that matter — ^bnt I'm too old ; and he's 

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181 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

a nice boy, and — heg pardon — ^you're a nicer gal. If yon 
want enny help I'm ready. Kind o' hope ca/n help yon. 
Wall do yon like Pierre r 

lina hardly knew what to answer ; bnt rallying herself, 
and the ingenuity of her sex immediately presenting itself, 
she replied : 

** I should like to see him again, sir." 
" And you shall, pretty one. Where and when V^ 
" To-morrow, by the lake, as usual.'' 
Hack threw out his broad and hard hand : 
" There 'tis ! FU do anything for you. I s'pose 
there'll angels, and if so, my idee is, they're kind o' like 
you. Bnt if they're all so pretty, couldn't sanre 'em all like. 
But I should just 's lief die doing on't. That's honest." 

The bewildered hunter turned, and Lina closmg the 
door, sat looking steadfastly at — ^nothing. 

The lake* Lina spoke of was half a mile from her father's 
— a wild, lonesome, romantic place, rarely visited, as there 
was no living thing in its waters ; hemmed in by moss-grown 
trees, saving a space of some three rods, in which, alone, was 
a gigantic oak. At its base was a ponderous quartz rock 
and within a few feet of the water. The rock was partially 
against the oak, and beneath it the earth had been displaced, 
as if the little lake had once been ** trouMed," and sought, 
but in vain, to undermine it — succeeding partially, however, 
and forming a shelter of some six feet square. 

It was here Pierre first surprised Lina, and they had 
made it their place of meeting since. 

* Itf name, " Jake Rejaer.** 

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The Eock and the Skeleton. 185 

Hack followed the little ran up some fifty rods to the 
falls, and found Berrj waitmg his approach. 

" WeU, Hauk ?" 

" Fm here;'' and putting his rifle upon the ground and 
resting his chin upon its muzzle, he stood looking at his 
new-made acquaintance. 

" You may think it trifling, Hack, on my part, as well 
as putting you to trouble for my benefit, in requesting this 
meetmg, but you left me so suddenly yesterday I could say 
no more then." 

" Wal I so far there's no hurt done." 

" Do you know the fMnily west of me on the second 

" Some." 

" Is there a young man in the house V* 

" Yes." 

" Do you know Mm ?" 


" A son r 

" B'lieve so." 

" What is the name f* 

" Perr6t." 

" Perr6t 1" 

" Yes; I said so. Anything strange about it ?" 

" Hack, are you willing to do me a fitvor ?" 

" Ginerally speakmg, warped that way, all things being 

" I hare a daughter "-^ 

" Just seen her." 

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186 Krr Kelvin's Eebnbls. 

'' She is young, and I am in no situation to lose her 
This young man,'' throwing his hand westward, "is, I fear, 
bedevilling her. It must be stopped. I desire no inter- 
course with the family." 

" Wal^ you want me to tell 'em so V 

"I do." 

" Wal, sir, I mind my own business, and transact it, too. 
I never meddle." 

" But, Hack, it is not necessary for me to explain." 

" Don't want you should. Haven't ax'd you." 

" Well, but you have no objection ?" 

" Wal 1 'tisn't m^ business, and I'm no schoolboy to be 
sent firom school-ma'am a rectifying mistakes." 

" But I will pay you." 

" Theft— swear I won't — ^I can't be bo't no how." 

** You are obstinate, HacL" 

" Yaw aint, of course." 

'^ Do me this favor ; carry it out, and adc me any in 

" S'posing I BX you for your gal ?" 

" That is unreasonable. Cannot be granted." 

Hack threw his rifle upon his shoulder: '^Seen any 
game 'bout to<lay 7" 

" One that toill be game has been about." 

" There's allays ttoo if there's erne." 

Berry looked intently into the stream. " Think of what 
I have said. I want no trouble, but I shall make it if 
necessary. Here is money for the inn 1" 

" Thank ye — ^never use the article." 

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The Book and the Skeleton. 187 

Hack followed the path through the woods and oyer 
the mountain until he came out near Perr6t's house. 
Putting a whistle to his lips, soon after, a rustle among the 
ferns announced s(Mne one's approach. It was Pierre. 

" HaJloo, Hack 1» 

** Got into devil of a fuss. Berrjil cut your heart out 
if yott love ai^ harder. Hal hal" 

** A hard (M quid. Did he speak of me ?" 

** See here, Pimre, that gal's a beauty I But I can't 
see her again ; made me orazy; don't know what I said, 
but I rather think she'll call me an old fooL There now^ 
^most forgot it. The little creature wants to see you to- 
morrow, as usual — eh I boy — as usual ! Seen her before I 
Kind o' sly. But don't blame you, lucky dog 1" And 
Hack whispered into Pierre's ear : ^' You fu% no spunk if 
you're scared off so. Steal the gal and run away 1" 

Hack had left Berry in a disappointed, unsatisfied, re- 
vengeful mood. He could not but admire the hunter for his 
blunt cand(»*, and considered him a faithful ally if he could 
secure his confidence. This he greatly desired, and he 
hoped, on consideiation. Hack would eventually deliver his 
verbal errand. 

Lina, in her artlessness, had told her &ther of meeting 
a young man, else he would have been ignorant of the fact. 
He had said nothing to her in reply, imd as he had not 
expressed his commands, and as Pierre was g^tlemanly 
and enthusiastic in his language and honest in his requests, 
she had allowed herself to build &ncy castles, dwelling 
with pleasure upon the interviews. The comeliness of 

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188 Ejt Eslyin'b £jaancLS. 

Pierre and the romance of the meetings were material aids 
to him. Neither did lina suppose her &ther wonld eren- 
tnally ol^ect, if matters progressed agreeably to her. 
Howerer, she had conchided to saj nothing more npon 
the subject, at least for the present. 

That Berry had his own and peculiar reasons for his de- 
murring, was evident. He could not endure any obstacle 
to thwart him in his designs, and he had determined upon 
a policy to be fc^owed before he kft the falls. 

There was one ezpreeoon used by Berry, Hack coidd 
not forget, aftd although a Uimt woodsman, he thought he 
read Berry sufficiently to warrant a supposition that he 
was a dark, mysterious man, obstinate, reckless, and des- 
perate. He had met the hint in his epigrammatic style, 
but he feared its meaning. So strong were his feelings, he 
resolutely decided to follow the word with the action, if 

The more Pierre thought ci Lina, the more fearlecn he 
became in his determinati<ms. Heknewin Hack he hada 
friend to be trusted and fully relied upon, in case oi an 
emergency. Hack gave Pierre some hmts suggestive of a 
careful course to be pursued in his actions, and had pro- 
mised all necessary assistance, for he sunmsed Berry would 
resort to extreme measures if the interviews with his 
daughter were continued by Pierre. He was also satisfied 
Lina favored Pierre, and he was h<^[)^l in the latter's 
energy and the former's endurance for a peaceful result. 
At the same time, he could hardly reconcile his sympa- 
thy in urging Pierre to proceed in fg^ce of Berry's threats. 


by Google 

Thb Eock and the Skeleton. 180 

Hack's advice to " steal the gal and run away/' waa 
seriously entertained by Pierre, and he met the engage- 
ment at the oak by the lake resolved to discover Lina's 
feelings upon the subject. This course, however, was not 
countenanced by the maiden. She had advised a post- 
ponement, trusting that in time her father would recognize 
her wishes, inasmuch as he had not as yet opposed her by 
his commands. It was through Pierre she had learned of 
his dissatisfaction, but she could still conscientiously per- 
sist in her regard toward Pierre from the fact that her 
father had said nothing to her upon the subject. 

Thus the matter remained through the summer months. 
Hack was occasionally inquisitive and always watchM. 
He had made it a duty, so far as he could, to stsmd guard 
and protect Pierre, and was very often a sentinel at a 
respectful distance when the lovers met. 

The uniform silence of Berry toward his daughter on the 
subject of her attachment, as also his Ealence toward the 
hunter concerning his request, augured nothing favorable, 
as Hack construed it. It rather preyed upon his honest 
mind, and his heart smote him forebodingly. 

Autumn had dawned upon the mountakis, and the 
golden days of October had come with his garb of bri^t 
variety. The tender leaves of the maple he had wooed 
with carmine, and the nodding sumach tossed her red tas- 
sels at his approach. Silence and beauty reigned harmo- 
niously upon the wooded peaks, while the mountain rilla 
tumbled down in whirling bubbles and diminutive cascades 
to the larger streams below, as if in haste to save th^ 

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190 Err KELym'a EjaonsLS. 

petrlj waters from the rode grasp of winter, so high iip 
from all sympathy and remembrance. 

Who does not love antumn ? With its fragrance ; 
with its treasures of beanty ; with its brown nuts and rus- 
set aj^ks ; with its bracing moms ; its genial meridians, 
and its mild, speaking evenings of moonlight I The 
wrinkles of silver hair deepen in quiet pleasure as the 
dinmied eye looks out opcm the great easel of God, 
checkered by His almighty hand all over with charmed 
beauty. The young ^thusiast, so full of wandering 
thought, wild to express in glowing eloquence his ardent 
feeMngs, grows giddy with the burden of sweet intoxica- 
tion and imbedle in acticm. The gentle voices of girls 
ring like silver bells, and the prattling baby turns a wist- 
ful face to ruddy chedu and laughs valiantly at the young 
master who has shot in to '' hurrah I" and fly out again. 

Reader, your hand I Am I excusable ? 

Lina had grown stnmg in her love, and had been en- 
couraging Pierre with her hopeful expressions of the 
future when ^e was ev^i then standing upon the threshold 
beyond which lay nothing but crushed and mangled hopes 
and afifectiiHis. 

Berry had sQently arranged his domestic matters, and 
had informed Lina of his wishes that she should visit some 
distant friends upon the sea-board for a few weeks. The 
change was agreeable to her, if she could but see Pierre to 
inform him. But she could not induce her father to post- 
pone the journey for a day, this being the one they were to 
meet by the ponderous rock. 

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Thb Book and the Skelbtok. 191 

It was with a sad and reluctant heart lina Mowed her 
father to the settlement for her departure. Her eyes full 
of tears, closely scanned the western moontauiy bat there 
was no Pierre to wave her a loving adieu. 

And so Lina had gone, and alone. Berry was now the 
sole occupant of his hut. 

. It was a charming day, and Pierre, elated with the 
anticipated meeting, was waiting wi^ great in^tience for 
the hour ; and when it came, his feet sped rapidly to the 
trysting spot. Breathless and expectant he arrived, but 
instead of his gentle Lina, Berry stood before him. Their 
eyes met. The one all astonishment and latter disap- 
pointment, the other glaring with revengeful hate. 

'' Young man I I have sent you waniings, but you have 
mocked me. If you believe in a God, talk to him new, 
for neither Lina nor your own peak shall you ever see 

Uniting the action to the threat. Berry immediately 
plunged a poignard to the heart 6i his innocent victim. 
Poor Pierre turned an imploring look firinn the dark &ce 
of the murderer to Heaven, reeled and fell. It was but 
the work of a few minutes that the corpse of Pierre was 
buried beneath the rock upon the very spot he had kissed 
his vows to Lina. Coolly wiping the blood from the dag- 
ger, and washing his hands in the lake. Berry muttered : 
** One more and peace, and by heavens it shall be so I" 

He slept as well that night as he had for thirty years. 

Pierre's absence created no uneasiness to his father, as 
he had often passed nights in the valley ; but not coming 

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193 Kit Ejelyin's Eobnelcu 

through the following day, he began to feel some solici- 

It WM with pleasnre that he hailed Hack, who jcust then 
came in. 

" Where's Pierre T'^ was his blunt inquiry. 

'' I know not, HacL He has been absent since day be- 
fore yesterday." 

Hack started, while a sudden pallor ran oyer his browned 

" That was the vwy day I could not come.'' 

** He ma4f be in the valley, but I cannot think what 
should ke^ him so long." 

** Guess not. I looked in at ' Unde Bill's,' wasn't th^*ey 
nor hadn't been there." 

At this Perr6t was sadly at ease, and Hack's coolness 
and presence of mind were exerted to the utmost to appease 
the father. He knew Lina had gone. This had been 
told him at the hosteby, but he had refrained from tellmg 
Perr6t, who, as yet, had not surmised his son's attachment 
to Berry's daughter. But circumstances had now made it 
necessary for Hack to unfold the secret, which he did to 
Perr6t's utter astonishment. They concluded that the 
father should see Berry, while Hack should proceed to. the 
settlement, and, if possible, discover if Pierre had followed 

There was but little rest to dther party that night. 
Hack was finding the body of Pierre, for he had quite 
determined the deed had been accomplished, while Perr6t 
was vainly pursuing his fugitive son in Aii search for Lina. 

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The Book aio) the Skeletok. 193 

Upon the morrow, pursuant to the compact, Perr6t took 
the winding path toward Berry's, while Hack hurried to 
the valley. Flying with the speed of a hound accustomed 
to the chase, he had satisfied himself that Pierre had not 
gone after Lina. In such an event he would have been 

Perr6t, arriving at Berry's, found the door locked, with 
no signs of occupancy. Following a path, he was pushing 
his way blindly toward the fatal rock. Occasionally his 
anxious heart would prompt him to hail his son, but the 
echo of his voice came back as his only answer. He pro- 
ceeded until he came out upon the lake by the shore of 
which appeared a figure. It was Berry, who turned to 
know the intruder. 

For a m<Hnent there wsa utter silence, while a, searching 
look passed between the two. 

"Is this Mr. Berry, or Captain Percy of the Two 

"The devil take your memory;" and a slight shadow 
passed over Berry's face as he advanced. 

In an instant the voyage, the death of his father, and 
its consequent losses, shot through Perr6f s mind, as he 
replied : 

" Was not one enough, that you should seek to make 
me souless ? Captain Percy, tell me where my son is ; 
for as true as God you know !" 

"So shall you," shouted Berry, as he sprang upon 

The powerful hand of the murderer pushed him to the 

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194 Kit Kblyin's Kernels. 

earth, and as the gUttering dagger, so recently wet with 
another's blood, was aplifted for its fatal throst, a yice-like 
gripe was upon Berry's arm. The weapon fell from his 
datch as he turned to meet the unflinching glare of Hack 
Williams' eye. 

'' Double damned villam t Hack's here l" 

The two closed in mortal combat. Both were powerful, 
of great muscular endurance, and reckless as to results. 
For a time, victory seemed equal ; but Hack, rallying 
with a desperate and superhuman effort, turned his anta- 
gonist, and fimdy fixing his hand upon Berry's throat, held 
and crushed it until the soul of the unanointed had 
i^peared before his God ; and long after, he sat upon the 
body with the eye of a demon, flashing the bitterness of 
unnutigated hate. Slowly rising to his feet, and looking at 
Perr6t, he grasped the lifeless corpse and hurled it far into 
the waters of the peaceful lake. 

'' To hell 1 or your own place, as Scripturs say. I haye 
done m/y duty. Yes I for once Hack Williams has done 

Years have passed, and with them all connected with 
this tragedy. The peaks are no longer solitudes, and 
parties of pleasure often visit this mountain lake. On one 
of these visits, while preparing a repast, the remains of a 
human skeleton were discovered buried below the shelf of 
the rock. They were the bones of poor Pierre ; the Bock 
and the Skeleton. 

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Patrick Henry. 

Patrick Henry was born in Hanover County, Va., 1136, 
and was contemporary with Washington. In early life he 
gave no evidence of a bright manhood. As a school-boy 
he was indolent, careless and indifferent. The fishing-rod 
and gun had more charms for him than books ; according 
to authenticated accounts, he was as dull as the dullest 
school-boy in any parish. 

Springmg from a reputable parentage, his father ex- 
erted himself for his son. Finding his predilection was not 
study, he stocked him together with a brother with goods 
for trade, hoping this responsibility would arm Patrick with 
activity and commendable zeal. But in this he was bitterly 
disappomted. The indolence of disposition followed the 
son, and together with an easy hospitality in credits, the 
stock was disbursed without returns and the firm was 
naturally dissolved. It was a complete failure. A second 
trial proved as discouraging, and all hopes, both in father 
and son, to rear a successful trader were abandoned. 

At this period of his life — eighteen — ^we find him mar- 
ried, and, with the joint aid of their parents, the young 
couple settled on a small farm. In this pursuit, as he 
lacked mercantile skill, so he lacked agricultural skill, and 
after an unsuccessful experiment of two years he re- 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

196 Kit Ejxtin's Eernels. 

linqidfilied the earth, Belling his little poesessioiis at a 
sacrifice and entered again into merchandise. It wonld be 
snpposable under all the circmnstances — ^former experience, 
a family and the stark necessity of self-reliance — ^that 
success would crown this enterprise. Yet, in view of all 
these preyious deficiencies, his uncontrollable inertness 
haunted him like an evil conscience, and choked the avenue 
of thrift with all the former idols that had checkmated him 
<mce and again — threw the victim into a complete discom- 
fiture — ev^ to bankruptcy. His entire property was lost, 
and the goblet c^ his misery was running over with bitter 
waters, for now he had a family relying upon his efforts for 

During his last course of trade, Mr. Henry had devoted 
more of his time to reading, and to personal observation 
of the various characters he would naturally meet in his 
business. To cwrect himself in misjudging, he often in- 
cited argument to prove the accuracy of his opinions, and 
in this way, at an early age, gained a masterly intuition of 
character, which, in after life, was his capital, whereby he 
thundered his eloqu^ioe and astounded sage learning with 
incontrovertible admiration. 

We find, then, the mind of Mr. Henry a perfect enigma. 
Given over by his father, by all Mends, and even by him- 
self, as a weed grown in sterile soil, worthless, so far as 
utility foreshadowed, but not fed by any destructive ele- 
ments that would poison hun as a moral man. There are 
rumors adrift of his dissipation and impiety ; but there is 
no record to substantiate any such taint. To the contrary. 

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Patrick Henby. 19T 

From yoath to age he ever recognized a strong reliance 
upon God, and it is not written that any auxiliary to his 
supernal greatness was ever in the least connected with a 
particle of immorality or skepticism. His greatest enemy 
was idleness — dawdling with time. As it proved in after 
life, he had the native metal, and it only needed burnish- 
ing to reflect its glittering lustre of glory. 

Perhaps, from this fact, recorded as it is in history, many 
indulgent parents are awaiting the time and circumstances 
for their representatives to throw away the inactivity and 
dullness of boyhood, and rush into a dazzling manhood. 
There is this opposed to such hopeful expectancies. The 
uncertainty — our ignorance and suspense — ^that God has 
placed such latent fire in all our children's brains. Daniel 
Webster once remarked : " Exert yoursdf, and then trust 

Amid all this fog of indolence, we see croj^ing out a few 
bright spots for the future transcendency of Mr. Henry. 
He never despaired, but fought his own battles, and ever 
retained an elasticity of mind which eventually gazetted 

Upon his last failure in business he turned his erratic 
mind upon law and **mralnle dictuP* after six weeks' 
reading — some say nine months — he asked for his license. 
His examiners were three ; history says naught of two of 
them, but the third was John Randolph, one of the pro- 
foundest lawyers then in the colony. 

In personal appearance Mr. Henry was coarse and 
ungainly, which, connected with a slovenness of habit, 


by Google 

198 Kit Kblyin's Eebnels. 

made him more an object of disgust than admiration. In 
this untoward state we find him before Randolph, who, 
judging from appeurances, was indisposed to commence an 
examination. But he did so, and as he proceeded his dis- 
gust faded, and he beheld an eccentric individual clothed 
with power. As he progressed, the eccentricitj of the man 
passed away, and he saw a genius. As the examination 
concluded, Mr. Bandolph informed Mr. Henry that in his 
argument (it was upon some point of law) he was right 
and himself wrong, and further remarked: '' Mr. Henry, if 
your industry be only half equal to your genius, I augur 
that yon will do well and become an ornament and an 
honor to your profession.'' This meeting gathered for 
Mr. Henry the permanent respect of Mr. Randolph. 

At the age of twenty-four, Mr. Henry was licensed to 
practise, and behold the resplendent light with whom he 
must compete. 

John Robinson, then Speaker of the House of Bur- 
gesses ; Peyton Randolph, King's Attorney-General ; 
Richard Bland, a politician of the first class, and a man 
of rare abilities and finished education — ^the first writer in 
the colony ; Edmund Pendleton, with few equals as a 
lawyer, and as statesman, no superiors. George Wythe, 
among the first in mental ability, and the rival of 
Pendleton. Richard Henry Lee— called the " Cicero of 
the House " — classical in style, elegant in diction, and rich 
in historical and political knowledge. 

These were some of the planets that shone in 1*765 in 
the colony of Virginia. 


by Google 

Patrick Heney. 199 

At the time Mr. Henry came belcHre the public, the 
society of the Colony had lines of demarkation to wMdi 
there was a rigid adherence, ^ere was a strong feeling 
of aristocracy that separated the yeomanry from the 
wealthier portion ; and it would be natural to sappose 
a young man selecting a life i»rofession, and that the law, 
would be biased in favor of the rich and influential, and 
court their atmosphere of thought and action. But to the 
credit of Mr. Henry (and here we see true sincwity with- 
out dissembling, and a firm adherence to principle) he 
chose the feebler mde, and stood by it with an miflinching 
will that no golden honor could buy or corrupt. He 
arose from the plebeian ranks — ^was of them, and /or them; 
and no brighter, more lustrous star erer scintillated in the 
firmament of mind. 

Shortly after Mr. Henry obtained his license, the great 
'difiSculty between the clergy and the people arose. This, 
as is well known, originated thus : The salary of the clei^ 
was paid in tobacco, at 16s. 8d. per 100 pounds. But in 
the year 1155, the tobacco crop falling short, the Legis- 
lature passed an act enal^g the inhabitants to dis- 
charge their tobacco debts in money, after the rate 
of 16s. 8d. per 100 lbs. In 1T58, the crop failed 
again, and the price rose to 50s. — ^a fearfol advance upon 
old prices. This, as a matter of course, serioudy affected 
the financial interests of the clergy, for thk wild infla- 
tion of prices detracted from them, while it added to the 
purses of the people; whereupon they took alarm, and 
supported by the king, who declared the act null and 

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200 Err Eelyin's Eebnels. 

toidy sought redress in a suit. It was a formidable qnesh 
tioiiy and the clergy, with their royal backer, were confi- 
dent of triomph. The people had retained Mr. Lewis for 
counsel, a man of very respectable legal attainments. He, 
however, became convinced of the supposed inef&cacy of 
all argument under the frown of such regal and diyine array, 
and retired from the cause without an essay on his part to 
test the question. In their despair, the defendants applied 
to Mr. Henry, a young, uncouth, unknown lawyer of re- 
cent date. To the surprise and deep chagrin of his friends, 
he undertook the battle. It was to be the incipiency of 
his future glory, or the crushing of all hopes. Thoroughly 
of the people, he sympathized deeply with them, and it was 
this very yeoman-like feeling that engendered the first germ 
of American Independence. 

At the opening of the court, Mr. Henry saw before him 
the people, not only of the county, but visitors from all 
counties adjoining — ^the learned clergy, ripe in knowledge, 
matured in character, and dignified with position — severe 
critics, who had come to witness his annihilaticm — an over- 
whelming audience, crowding the house to repletion — and, 
as presiding magistrate, kis own father. 

Under these appalling facts, imagme the tremblmg con- 
frtsion for the poor essayer as he arose for the contest ! 
His exordium was full of platitude, and already were the 
clergy convinced their cause was won, and the people, that 
theirs was lost, and the father that the son had brought 
shame and disgrace upon his grey hairs. 

But suddenly, like a rocket from its fastenings, breaking 

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Pateick Henbt. 201 

tlirough the thick membrane of stupidity, awkwardness 
and confusion that had heretofore enwrapped his mind in 
obscurity, Mr. Henry burst upon the track with unparal- 
leled boldness, and charged Ms competitor with a daring, 
admirable and manly, flanked with unsurpassed eloquence, 
rich, deep, and inexhaustible — ^tearing along with dazzling 
speed — ^holding judge, jury, and the entu'e multitude in 
breathless wonder and paralyzed amazement, at this sud- 
den outgushing of pent-up greatness. It was a scene. He 
spoke like a God, and, in one hour, Eang George was 
forgotten, the clergy annihilated, and the people trium- 
phant. On the one hand, the plaintififs fleeing their 
seats, the audience silenced and gazing, and the father 
covered with glory, and his face with tears. The egg was 
incubated, and from the film of generation sprang a full 
grown lion of masterly eloquence, undoubted genius, and 
the pride of the Colony — ^Patrick Henry, the orator. 

Thus dawned his brilliancy, his achievements, and his 
glorious triumph. He had found his life labors — ^the de- 
fence of the people. 

It has been said — I do not know how truly — ^he was 
carried from the courthouse upon the shoulders of the de- 
lighted multitude. 

Mr. Henry was no longer compelled to linger under the 
shade of others. His sun with radiant light had broken 
through the darkness of a late morning, and dazzled be- 
holders with a river of glory. His fame, like good news, 
ran far and wide. He had made his mark upon the chart 
of time. 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

202 Kit Eeltin's Kernels. 

In 1164, Mr. LitUepage, member from Hanover, was 
charged with bribery and corroption, by his riyal candidate, 
Dawdridge. Mr. Henry was retained by the latter gen- 
tleman, and won his case. It was a brilliant display of 
his intellect, and struck the committee before whom it was 
argued with wonder and admiration. Yet, as a lawyer, 
Mr. Henry was faulty. His early lack of concentration 
and discipline of mind was his spectre. He could see his 
great error, but could not retrieve himself from it. The 
time he had squandered returned with stunning interest to 
his constant annoyance. 

In 1165, he was returned as member from the county ot 
Louisa for the House of Burgesses. His election was 
mamly to oppose the famous Stamp Act. He had been read 
by the people, and had been recognized as the champion 
and defender of their rights. From their circle had he 
arisen, and they dauned him as their undisputed property. 

Sincere, candid, cool and manly, he arose at once to 
wither, amaze and triumph with his remarkably fertile and 
expedient mind. Comprehending his subject with the sweep 
of an eagle — grasping his object with the clutch of a 
talon — ^his lips ran over with gushing eloquence, telling 
fearftdly upon opponent and elating his client beyond the 
doubt of mortals. 

Before Mr. Henry offered his resolutions in opposition 
to the Stamp Act, a case occurred which brought down 
the animadversion of the aristocracy. It was this. Mr. 
Robinson was speaker of the House and also Treasurer of 
the colony. He was a gentleman rich and liberal and 

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Patrick Henet, 203 

through the generosity of his disposition, had loaned to 
those of his rank large sums from his own private purse as 
well as from the public funds. He went too far before he 
discovered his extreme error, and in order to cover all defi- 
cits, proposed the establishment of a Public Loan. The 
money was to be delivered to none but responsible parties, 
and then on landed security. This plan was matured 
among interested friends and brought forward. Had it 
succeeded, Mr. Robinson would have covered all his delin- 
quences harmoniously and seCTetly. 

But Mr. Henry, like a lion awaiting his prey, attacked 
the scheme on general grounds. He carried with him the 
mass — Cleaving against him the minority, comprising the 
influential men of the country. He again won his battle, 
and his generalship was universally conceded, not unmixed 
with envy by those who saw in him a vulgar man of the 
working classes. • But jealousy could not crush him now. 
He was riding upon a clear horizon without a cloud to 
obstruct his unequalled passage. 

But, to return to his famous resolutions. They were 
heralds of our Revolution. In brief they declared that the 
General Assembly had the sole right to levy taxes upon the 
colony, and that every attempt to vest such power in any 
person or persons otherwise had a manifest tendency to 
destroy British as well as American freedom. 

Nothing could have smitten the Assembly with more 
fright, and he was resisted by all the greater lights I have 
heretofore individualized and by some who were afterward 
distinguished in the cause of Liberty. He fought with 

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204 Krr Keltin's Kernels. 

the bayonet of his eloquence and crashed his opponents to 
the wall. It was then the attorney-general Peyton Ran- 
dolph exclaimed : * By G — , I would have given 600 guin- 
eas for a single vote.*^ 

It was daring this exciting contest that he thundered 
this memorable sentence : 

" Csesar had his Brutus, Charles the first his Cromwell, 
and George the Third, (" Treason I" cried the speaker, 
and from all parts of the House) — " may profit by their 
example. If this be treason, make the most of it." 

From this time, Mr. Henry became the idol statesman 
of the colony. It is said his forte was on questions before 
a jury. His voice was clear, deep and musical, with an 
indescribable charm in his cadences. His style, simple, 
strong and energetic, himself humble— with no trumpet 
note of preparation — ^but earnest, watchful, eager and 
untiring. He plead to all the passions of his jury, and he 
read them as easily as the schoolboy his book. Strong in 
intuition of character, he eyed the progress of each sen- 
tence and struck the blow with the word. It went from 
him with the swiftness of thought, the weight of a thunder- 
bolt, and as unerringly as Damascus steel in the hands of a 

The first low growl of horrid war was now heard 
in the deep and bitter opposition to the various acts of 
Parliament which were rapidly tending to the enslaving 
the colonies with the degrading yoke of servitude. The 
eagle eye of Henry saw the coming conflict, and in his pro- 
phetic words heralded the battle and the victory^. He if 

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Patrick Henry. 205 

was who moved the resolution that the Colony be imme- 
diately pat into a state of defence and that a committee 
shoold prepare a plan for arming and disciplining such a 
number of men as should be sufficient for that purpose. 
And in his speech before the House, a combination of 
strength, beauty and practical sense — ^he concluded with 
these words : " We must fight I I repeat it, sir I We 
must fight — an appeal to arms and the God of Hosts is all 
that is left us. Our chains are forged ; their clanking 
may be heard on the plains of Boston. The war is inevit- 
able and let it come. Is life so dear and peace so sweet as 
to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery ? For- 
bid it. Almighty God I I know not what course others 
may take, but as for me — give me liberty or give me 
death 1'' 

At the close of this speech the House was silent as the 
chambers of the dead — ^but upon every face there rested 
the determination to do or die. The resolutions were 
adopted ; Washington and Jeflferson were among the num- 
ber to prepare the plan agreeably to the last clause — ^that 
the colony should be put in a state of defence. 

The times might have created such a man. But we 
know he was a man for those times that^ " tried men's 
souls." All things aided in strengthening this Demos- 
thenes. The stormier looked the horizon, the cooler 
expedients were his, with which to rush to the rescue. 
The colony saw in him their avowed and indefatigable 
advocate, and with his eloquence to incite, and words to 
bum, the cause of freedom must prevail. 

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206 Err Kelvin's Eebnbls. 

The gathering storm began to thicken heayily. Lord 
Dnnmore, the governor of the colony, had dissolved the 
Hoose of Burgesses more than once, and had, in the 
opinion of his subjects, oonmiitted gross and flagitious acts, 
subverting righteous principles and assuming an imperious 
method — ^therebj drawing the lines of freedom closer and 
shorter. Alarmed at the bold and manly tone of public 
opinion fast setting against him, he had taken the powder 
from the public magazme at Williamsburgh, clandestinely, 
and had placed it for his own use, in case of emergency, 
upon a schooner in James Biver. 

A letter, couched in respectful and humble language, for 
its restoration, or payment for the same — as being the 
property of the town — ^was sent Lord Dunmore. The 
return was insulting and defiant. This act of piracy, fol- 
lowed by insolence, aroused the ire of Henry, who spoke 
in his own inimitable style to the County Gonmiittee, cour 
voked for the purpose of discussing this act of Dunmore's. 
It went home to the heart of every patriot, and a decision 
was taken to retrieve the powder, or consummate a reprisal 

The captain of the independent company resigned, in 
order that Mr. Henry should be invested with the chief 
command of the expedition — ^for such an orator, embody- 
ing such zeal, was considered equal to execute as he was 
to draft the redress. 

The result anticipated in many minds was disaster. 
But with the knowledge that the plan was righteous, and 
his course consistent, the military orator conmienced his 
march undauntedly, and with the full determination of 

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Patrick Hbnbt. 207 

complete success. He was met at Doncastle, with a bill 
of exchange for the powder, and a receipt given for the 
same. Thanks and applause covered him. It was a day 
of military triumph to him, and as he had given the first 
impulse to the Revolution, so had he headed the first 
military movement in its support in Virginia. 

Soon after this, Dunmore abdicated his palace, and 
considered the colony in open rebelUon. The government 
was virtually dissolved. Preparations of a warlike and 
defensive measure were made, in which we find Mr. Henry 
as zealous as in the councils. He was appointed com- 
mander of all the forces raised for the defence of the 
colony. But here his military career was cut short, and 
circumstances obliged him to relinquish, eventually, the 
glory of arms. His second in command. Colonel Wood- 
ford, had gained great eclat in his victory against the 
enemy at the Great Bridge — a position which Mr. Henry 
sought for, but the Committee of Safety, somewhat dis- 
trusting his experience in the field, had given the command 
to Woodford. This drew out letters from Mr. Henry to 
his colonel, as also firom the convention — ^the latter beam- 
ing a slightly disrespectful tone toward Mr. Henry's 
military skill. This disaffection increased, with other 
humiliations, until Mr. Henry's sense of honor could not 
brook the position, and it terminated, on his part, by his 
resignation. This came near proving fatal to the harmony 
of the colonial forces, and they clamored loudly for his 
recall, threatening to retire from the field of action in 
case he was not reinstated. 


by Google 

208 Kit Kelvin's Kebkels. 

Probably nothing saved a fatal breach bat the very man 
who bad innocently cansed it. He repaired to the bar- 
racks, and spent the night in convincing the disaffected 
that even universal liberty might depend npon their har- 
monious feeling and action. 

In this he gained the object of his visit, and the m^lea- 
sant affair was healed. 

This dissatisfaction on the part of the convention arose, 
no doubt, from good motives on their part. They feared 
Mr. Henry's inexperience in war would render it hazardous 
to commit to his management the incipient struggle. 

Yet, even were this the case, why invest him with such 
command ? On the other hand. Is there not reason to 
suppose Colonel Woodford was a man of ambition and 
jealousy — ^grasping at the chief position himself, and hav- 
ing a sufficiency of friends of influence to eject the more 
modest and unassuming Mr. Henry ? Those who know 
well human nature, and are thoroughly candid to speak as 
they know, would put the finger upon pure jealousy as the 
cause of Mr. Henry's resignation. We cannot, of course, 
follow the orator into the camp, and predict his success ; 
but it is easy to fancy that such a character as Patrick 
Henry, possessing the experience of age, a remarkable 
knowledge of human nature, and foresight extraordi- 
nary ; with a zeal, ardor and determination to conquer 
or forfeit his life, could not fail of a brilliant termination 
to his military career. He might have been our Wash- 

It is difficult to imagine the reason of heavy disappoint- 

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Patbick Heney, 

ments when the object is fully worthy and perhaps pecur 
liarly fitted for the position sought. Yet 

** There is a Diyinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough hew them how we may." 

This apothegm is cleverly adaptive. 

Upon his resignation, Mr. Henry was elected delegate 
to the Hanover County Convention — a body as important 
to the colony then as our limbs are for our own indepen- 
dence. Lord Dunmore had vacated his office — ^the king 
had abandoned the people, and had declared their reduc- 
tion to submission — arms had been taken up and the bat- 
tles of Lexington and Concord had been fought, and the 
appeal, solemn and telling, had been made by the strug- 
gling patriots to the God of battles for protection, aid and 
success. Bloody war had vaulted into his phaeton of 
destruction, and was rushing with the impetus of death up 
and down the once peaceful confederation, spreading 
alarm, panic and havoc in the dread mingling of reality. 

Bereft of a master by abdication and hostilities, the 
people resolved on one of their own, and that choice was 
Patrick Henry. 

In this honor — ^that of being the first Governor of Yir- 
ginia — ^he was measurably recompensed for the slight mor- 
tification he had experienced in the military line. This 
office he had held for three consecutive elections, and 
finally closed the door against himself by declining to act 

As Governor he was universally popular, meeting all 
wants of the young republic promptly and efficiently, sup- 

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210 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. » 

plying and forwarding stores to the continental army, 
allaying disaffection, ontgeneralling scheming capitalists 
who had arisen in these tunes of exigencies — ^watching the 
artifices of the Tories, and causing to permeate through 
the body politic a healthful glow of integrity, purity and 
uprightness of purpose. But yet the most popular char- 
acter was never exempt from being assailed or traduced by 
malicious and envious hearts. 

Patrick Henry, with all his integrity of action — ^his ear- 
nestness of purpose — ^his pure sincerity in the cause of 
American Liberty — ^his disinterestedness — ^his total want 
of calculation for his own ease and retbement — ^his inces- 
sant watchfulness — ^his ardor and herculean exertions in 
the great cause — ^his relinquishment of activity in the 
camp, necessitated by others' jealousy — ^his mental anxiety 
and depth of foresight — in brief, all his bright manhood, 
intellect and power, proved no aegis to defend or crush the 
bitterness of snarling envy. With all his previous life's 
history, a book accessible to all, full of candor, honor and 
purity, even at this date of life (forty), he was regarded 
as the projector of the Dictatorship, which in 1116 was 
agitated in Virginia. 

It was in the autumn of that year, that a large portion of 
the army had been cut off by the disaster on Long Island, 
while a garrison of 3,000 or 4,000 had been taken at Fort 
•Washington, and our great Washington was retreatmg 
through New Jersey, before a power alarming and dis- 
heartemng. It was a crazy scheme, and its parentage was 

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Patrick Henby. 211 

Why Mr. Henry should be considered as the inyentor of 
this mad project, is, I fancy, only explained in supposing him 
to be at this time the most remarkable man of the colony, 
and, as such, recognized even by his traducers. It found 
credence, at all events, for Col. Cary, speaker of the Senate, 
addressed Mr. Henry's step-brother in the following words: 
" I am told that your brother wishes to be Dictator. Tell 
him he shall feel my dagger in his heart before the sunset 
of that day !" 

How just this imputation was, is not known ; but we can 
only point to the antecedents of the man to satisfactorily 
crush all possible sui^)Osition in the belief that his heart 
should cover up so great hypocrisy, deceit and wretched 
policy. If there are those who believe that Mr. Henry 
was the guilty one, I think the fact brought before them, 
that at the next election he was chosen governor wnamur 
mously, and the same spirited Col. Cary speaker of the 
Senate, should be sufficient proof to convince them of their 
uncharitable error of opinion. Had Mr. Henry the first 
element of simulation in his character to tinge it with 
loathing, it would unquestionably have been brought to 
light when he received an anonymous letter addressed to 
him from Yorktown in January, 1118, the purport of 
which was the deposition of Washington, mixed with 
flattering encomiums on his own actions. What did he do ? 

The honor of great manhood — the anxiety of a true 
patriot — ^the perfect candor of pure friendship, suggested 
the course he adopted. He inclosed the same to Washing- 
ton in terms of great affection and anxiety, at the same 

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212 Kit Kelvin's Kebnels. 

time condemning the perfidionsness of the unknown writer. 
For this act of extreme kindness Washington met him 
with deep, fall and sincere returns. 

It is supposed General Conway was the author of the 
treasonous letter. 

After Mr. Henry's withdrawal from the governorship, 
he continued to represent the county of his abode with his 
usual power and to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. 

Peace came at length, as the dew upon parched vegeta- 
tion — ^infusing life, health, beauty and vigor. It brought its 
christianizing influences to bear upon the stoutest hearts. 

About the last public act of Mr. Henry was advocating 
the return of the British refugees. The measure was 
strenuously opposed. The danger of allowing such odious 
returns upon a young Republic was ably discussed. But 
the powerful arguments did not swerve the patriot from 
his purpose. As he had commenced life with justness before 
generosity, so was he closing his inimitable career, actuated 
by the same lofty feeling, beautifully mingled with conmii- 
seration for the vanquished. He answered Judge Tyler, 
then the speaker of the House (who had condemned the 
proposition most vehemently) with his ordinary wisdom 
and unanswerable eloquence. With a peroration at once 
convincing and all powerful, he silenced opposition : 

" Afraid of them I What sir I Shall we who have laid 
the proud British lion at our feet, now be afraid of his 
whdps V 

Mr. Henry retired from public life in 1*794, and died at 
the age of 58, 1*799. 

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Patrick Henby. 218 

There is probably not another such record of eccentricity 
of mind to be found in any biography. That Mr. Henry 
was a sincere patriot, there is no doubt. When fully 
roused upon the subject of colonial freedom against foreign 
servitude, there could be no warmer advocate. What- 
ever of slander he had to contend with in his own life- 
time, with all the marked ingratitude of nnappreciating 
minds, it is pleasant to know succeeding generations 
warmly concede to him his honest worth and unclouded 
fame, and that credence and respect which charlatans 
never enjoy. 

With no unnatural stimulus, his intellect, though of slow 
growth, was the more sure and reliable. His name, like 
Washington's, will live forever. But I cannot close without 
once again running up the signal of warning. Guard all 
the avenues of promotion and advancement with eternal 
vigilance, and beware of indolence 1 

What else might not Patrick Henry have effected had 
he early disciplined his mind to study, and concentrated 
thought ? It is 7u>^ sufficient that he made the exhibit he 
did. Buried without the light of active existence, were 
faculties past the scope of ordinary mortals, which, once 
pruned and cherished for increase, would have borne fruit 
beyond the harvesting of man. 

This registration of early indolence, bursting into a 
maturity of honor and acclamation, rather than solacing 
any similar cases, should be remembered as a fatal life 
error : and, if it be the battle of existence, so much the 
harder let the contest prove. 

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Pusillanima Simple. 

** There Is a generation^ oh 1 how lofty are thdr eyes, and their eye-lids are 
lifted ap.**— PBOTBaia. 

The family of Simples was purely of city origin. It was 
the result of an alliance between Mr. Bawson Simple and 
i/Tisa Ophelia Peth. The latter affected a foreign relation, 
but it was not definitely settled how legitimate the esti- 
mate was ; and cousin-germanships were ultimately lost 
in confusion. 

Simple had been a butcher* for twenty-five years of his 
life, and had retbed upon an easy fortime, and with it, 
unfortunately, an empty head. In this respect, his family 
very cleverly imitated him. 

The result of his life-sacrifidftg labors had placed Simple 
at the head of a finely-built house in a fashionable quarter; 
and upon his door he read with inward deh'ght, at every 
approach to his dwelling, from a massive silver plate — ^R. 
Simple. The interior was not wanting even in a library. 
There stood an elaborately-finished mahogany case, filled 
with costly-bound books, sacredly preserved from touch ; 
for the owner's time was too precious to spend in spelling 
and defining the titles and subjects of so many unknown 
authors. A daily gaze upon the gUt backs that stared 
through the glass sufficed him ; and then, too, he would 



by Google 

Pcrsn.LAyiMA Simple. 215 

pass for a literary man, or at least, for one possessing 
some literary taste. This was requisite for housekeeping 
in the particular part of the city in which Simple resided. 
Mrs. Simple was very vulgar, but she was not aware of 
the fact. A countless change of dresses, jewelry in profu- 
sion, a lap-dog, and sweet singing canaries, spoke to the 
contrary ; and then, too, a coach and black driver chased 
away all lurking suppositions that she ranked lower than 
her own ideas had located caste. In fact. Simple's money 
had positioned him much higher in the niche of worldly 
estimation than his naturally sangtdne temperament had 
figured for him. He enjoyed the title of alderman of his 
ward ; and his orbicular personage certainly commanded 
for him some respect. His little apple-head, furnitured 
with a small, grey eye, generous nose, and vermilion face, 
would turn but slowly unless addressed by those who had 
a respectable handle by way of a title to their names. 
Upon his entrance into official notoriety he had been run 
for the chair, but subsided into one of a committee upon 
salaries ; a position he was as capable of filling as any in 
the gift of the council. His appearance was invariably 
the same, especially when discoursing upon city affairs in 
and about "the Hall." Legs located at a distance, like an 
old skipper in a heavy sea ; hands in pocket, hat hung 
upon one side of the head, and a lighted cigar pointing 
skyward from his mouth : it was thus he stood when 
gratuitously giving advice and receiving requests ; gener- 
ally shortening a bore by seeing him again. With a man 
of real standing, bis cunning stood by to scatter such 

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316 Kir Kelvin's Kernels. 

enigmas as would create a desire upon the stranger to 
hare another conference. 

Such was Simple " down-town." At home, he ate with 
his knife, swore lostilj at his table, and steadily '' turned 
in " with more brandy than sobriety would prescribe. 

Upon Pusillanima Simple, father and mother had lav- 
ished everything that riches with vulgar, tastes could sug- 
gest. She had attained the age of twenty, and in personal 
appearance could not boast of much natural beauty. Her 
hair was red ; her face badly freckled : with a grey eye 
and a pug nose, followed by an enormous mouth and re- 
treating chin : in stature short and the obverse of thin. 

In the matter of cleanliness, her education had not been 
fuUjTcompleted. There was evidently lacking in or about 
her toilet-stand a tooth-brush. At least her dentals evi- 
denced such a want. It is true she had been sent to 
school, but not until late in her '' teens f and there is a 
very homely but true adage, hardly appropriate to the es- 
tate of a young lady, but not the less truthful : " It is hard 
to teach an old dog new tricks." She had recited gram- 
mar and taken lessons in chirography, but it did not pre- 
vent her from slandering Murray, or disgracing the per- 
sonal pronoun I with an invidious dot. She sang loud, but 
the melody, to an anxious parent, or the ear of a skillful 
physician, would have suggested croup with instant relief. 
Her voice, the true index of a lady or a commoner, was 
pitched high, with a shrillness that reminded one of ** The 
Yision of Judgment," where the process of ear-stopping was 
resorted to for the purpose of shutting out aU cadences. 

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Pfsillakima Simple, 217 

Bat PasiUanima Simple, in her own estimation, was a 
real lady, representing such wealth as would call to her 
side any partner she saw fit to select. The only delight of 
her life was to hear the bell and her name pronounced; the 
great object of her life, marriage. Poor Pussy 1 for such 
was her endearing appellation. 

Simple's object in choosing such a fashionable neighbor- 
hood for a residence, was merely to connect himself, through 
his daughter, with a blooded family. Ko matter what the 
suitor was, so long as he r<mkxd. 

Simple was no miser. Scarcely a week passed without 
a gathering in his rooms, &om whence; late at nighl and 
early in the morning, issued a variety of sounds, indicative 
of expenments upon some iustrument in connection with 
supposed vocal music ; acting as symphony, an occasional 
burst of strong lungs that might be mistaken for a slight 
forgetfulness of time and place, but, of course, mere party 

There are young men of the town who respectably pur- 
sue respectable avocations, and yet are ready for spicy ad- 
ventures, that have a show of novelty as well as variety : 
by reason of which many in the end would have shown 
more wisdom to have declined the chase. 

George Lark was of good birth and education, a gentle 
man in reality. He was teller in one of the city banks — 
in all respects one whose society was sought for, and 
whose presence was ever most welcome. It so happened 
that he resided in the same street with the Simples, and 
daily passed their number on his way to business. Neither 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

218 Exr Kelvin's Kernels. 

was he ignomnt oi the fact that at the lilMrary-window of 
Simple^s house a red-haired damsel was generally stationed 
to view the passing thr(ng. Lark^s personal appearance 
pieteed the fancy of the sensitiye PtiSLUanima, and she had 
already commenced mental negotiations to make his ac- 
quaintance. With the natural cunning of her sex, she at 
last arranged it, and Lark one eyening could add another 
name to his extensire list of lady Mends — ^Miss Pusillanima 
Simple — a verity that made Aer very happy. This objec- 
tive obstacle now overcome, the next soir^ given at Sim- 
ple^s was more particularly for young Lark, whOfjttstfor a 
hit of fwn^ accepted the invitation. The best description 
of the evening, with his impressicms of the fair Pussy, is 
given in a letter he tossed off the following morning to a 
Mend out of town. It ran thus : 

** Dear Jim: 

**I wish you had been with me last erening. Alderman 
Simple's red-haired daughter gave a spicy blow-out ; and, probably, 
such a conglomerated set was nerer before seen in jewels and 
flounces. As to the * feast of reason and flow of soul,' it might be 
summed up in expressions such as done^ for did — weniy for gone — 
Wtfn, for saw — Aim, for he, interspersed with murderous language 
and slang phrases. Imagine my * feelinks,' as mellow Clark of the 
* Knick ' says. Fancy me in the giddy whirl of a polka with the 
queen of the evening— that vulgar, pug-nosed damsel ! ttogracrfvi 
in all her movements ! I was not * pierced with a white wench's 
black eye,' but I was thoroughly disgusted with the entire arrange- 
ment, and Spited my pinions ' as soon as decency would allow. 
Egad ! e(ndd you have seen me and Miss Simple, you might have 
felt jealous, but I essentially doubt it. For further particulars 
wait until we ean meet.** 

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The bit of fim which Lark anticipated, came too 
speedily, and with altogether too mach reality. Like an 
Alpine avalanche did the tenderness of Pussy Simple 
encompass him, and, with so much ardor did she follow it 
np, as to seriously annoy the teller. Like Dick Swivellei*, 
he had completely blocked up his own street, and had been 
obliged of late to pass down-town by another route. He 
had endeavored to quench the sanguine affections of Miss 
Simple, but all to no effect. The crisis at length came. 
The postman handed over the counter a note at which the 
gallant Lark blushed crimson. The mantling blood was 
not because the letter might be from a young lady, but 
from the fearful scrawl which met his eye. The super- 
scription waa : 

^ Mr. georg lark esqre. 

at bank 

in strete.** 

With a feeling of shame, and a half-formed idea that 
this was a just retribution for his foolish adventure, he 
thrust the missive into his pocket. Gould Pussy have seen 
the reception of her invitation, her feelings could not have 
been more bitterly crushed than was her gilt-edged note, 
over which she had passed nearly an entire day. Miss Sim- 
ple's " last dying speech " ran as follows : 

" deer mister lark esqre. 

** i am agoing to a large fashunabel sorei tor- 
morro nite and i had mther hay u go with me than that uglee fello 
■am bnckster i hope n will cum in a carradge and cum erly as i 

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to t 
pat u 
tionin t 

«* Miss Sim 
meet. My fat 
deftth, I shall b* 
pun I add| there - 
ter. Aslleayeti. 
you again. 

This was readU; 
one being very phL 
her pungent disapp 
posed, as shortly 
appeared in the mc 

" Mabbied— At the 
ffimple, by the Rer. J( ' 
nel Buckster. 



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CC -' • ' u . . ' 


put ' :v . 

tion ill 

imagina. < 

"Miss Si - .- ^ . 

meet. My ft. : .>' \. . ■ a. 

death, IshaU . ...... . . ; 

pain I add, thei * . o 

ter. Aslleaye . t.. : ..• : i ', , o :.., p 
you again. 

This was readiv r \. • ^, c . . 
one being very phi < ' r .1 

her pungent disapp vi • .^ 

posed, as shortly . ^ , \> . 

appeared in the mc 

" Mabried— At the ! o: ; . . 1 

Simple, by the Rer. J( . • ^ » . . - • o ; , . 

nel Buckster. 

1 t 

T ■ '. ■'• 

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FiTsnjiANmA. Simple. 221 

It is necessary to add, Samnel Backster was a batcher, 
bnt had, by his dashing generosity and daring ex^doits at 
sundry fires, won the lacerated heart of Pnssy ; and from 
his " devil-may-care ^ boldness, with decided shrewdness in 
business, gained the consent of the worthy Alderman. 
Mrs. Simple wept bitterly npon the fearful fall of her 
house ; but finding no sympathy but execrable oaths from 
her lord, left the matter to take its own course. 

Alderman Simple, soon alter the wedding, was carried 
out of his house feet first, boxed ; having fallen in an 
apoplectic fit after an evenii^s conviviality, while standing 
before his book-case. 

The massive silver plate has since been changed. It is 
now simply, Buckster. 

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A Kernel for "The Knick."* 

1 HAND yon, dear Clark, a sli^t Mem. 

There is a trio of acknowledged debts in this world. 
The debt of naiwre^ which is death ; the debt of accomUs, 
which inyolves money and often enmity — and the debt of 
kindness^ which natnrally asks for a return of favors received. 
Yet there is another rarely recognized. It is the debt of 
infarmoHan, When the eye has feasted npon a movelty, 
when the ear has been filled with interest of things uncom- 
mon — ^we are recipients — chtmty-students — ^and owe a debt 
to others who have not participated alike as we have. 

Through the Garolinas, Georgia, and Alabama, termi- 
nating a trip npon the Gnlf and at the pleasant little city 
of Mobile, I have endeavored, tmthfdlly and qnietly, some 
observations. Travellers oftentimes record information 
that proves worthless ; jumping at results and largly draw- 
ing upon the imagination to fill blanks, as well as depend- 
ing upon others for description ; like the young English 
lord, who, too indolent and indifferent himself to visit the 
Coliseum while in Home, sent his courier to lock for him. 

My name I sent down from the hotel at Montgomery 
by the boy Joshua to the clerk of the steamer "Wm. 
Jones,'' Capt. Meaher. I did this to secure myself a com- 

* Before nnpoblished. 

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A Eebnel fob ^'Tjeo^ Ektok." 

Snrtable ]X)oin, and in which I fbnnd myself sound, for 1 
got it, Now Joshaa belonged to the boat (a boy of munis- 
takable hne, for it was black) and troubled much abont 
worldly things, as was Martha, and still more definitely 
abont money things. Therefore, it was his wont, npon the 
arrival of the boat from Wetnmpka, to seek at the hotel 
the Inggage of any gentleman bound down the ** AldbamP 
In this he had a doable motive. First, to secure to him- 
self (a fiagrcmt (^^)06itioa line to the omnibus) the loose 
quarter not particulary busy in your pocket, and more, 
to increase that sum wm/t by "standing by ^ at the table. 
For instance— you are upon the hurricane deck, looking 
upon the cotton {dantations and the varied river soen^ ; 
Joshua approaches with sable fingers playing polite by 
touching the woolly top-knot and relieving his tongue thus : 
^* Stand by, sir — si:^per is about ready. My place is near 
your state-room, sir.'' 

" Ah ! I understand, Joshna T 


Joshua disappears, and you will next discover him in his 
position as above, desirous of meeting your immediate 
palatial wants in as short a time as his adipose substance 
will allow him to execute your ccMumands. He will see as 
you emerge from the barber's shop in the morning that 
there is no dust upon your coat — ^for all the day previous 
it has been Mowing fresh with rain-squalls. He has also 
simply requested you to put your boots outside of 15 so that 
he can dust them. He is ready to run for an extra glass 
of water, or for an ^g% for a WEBBm^ui — a delicious pocu- 

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£34 Kit KELvm's Kebnels. 

knt suggested by one of our party, and a princelj sob^ 
tote for the wretched wat^ (rirer) joa are obliged to 
swallow. Well, to fim^ Joshua ; when the Toyage is up, 
yoa cannot but obserre a dark object darting past yoor 
do(»r in rapid snccession. Look sharp and yoa can detect 
something white aboQt his figurehead. What is it? Why, 
bless yoor soul — it is his eye-^bat is, the one next yon, 
having a single and nitgviar aim im view. Yon can tell 
what this is all abont if yoa will feel yonr pockets. At 
least /came to that condnsion, for as soon as I had thus 
manipnlated, / didfi^t set amnf mare of km! Quite funny t 
I would recommend him — Joshua — should you " float down 
the Alabam" ever, and he still upon the si»ne boat. 
Worth ? well, say, just now, fifteen hundred. You know 
wool is high — so is cotton — and you can always tell the 
price of wool if you know that oi cotton — " They are one 
amd inseparable.'^ 

These river-boats are like huge amphilxoas monsters with 
double testaceous backs, snorting as though they had life, 
and had been teased by wicked boys to extreme vexation, 
and while they forbore to retaliate, could not but evidence 
their irritation by fearful, stertorous grants. They carry 
firom 1,600 to 2,000 bales of cotton, which weigh four or 
five hundred pounds each (an Alabama bale is much larger 
than that of other States). The landings that these boats 
effect are^really surprising. It is true the river is at once 
deep from the shore, still, I venture to assert a North Biver 
steamboat captain would admire the alacrity, the boldness 
and the readiness with which these are executed. No 

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A Ebbnel for "The Knick.'' 

Bocner is the boat made last — generally to some root — ^than 
the pluiks are shored oat and t^e freight landed. Hogs- 
heads of bacon are instantly sorroonded by the deck hands 
and nuracnlonsly rolled ashwe — scHnetimes half-way op 
bla£k, 9Xkd all in so short a space of lime yon involmitarily 
exdaim, ** wonderfol — it is troly wcmderfol." 

I judge the Alabama is the most crooked, navigable 
stream known. Listen : Some 485 miles to Mobile from 
Montg(HBery, while by land it is abont 200. The boat at 
times looks as though it were playing bo-pe^ with the 
wooded points, for no 80<mer do yon turn <me than the 
{Nlot is pr^aring to donUe another jost ahead. The pilot 
well earns his $200 pw month, as does the deck-hand lus 
$t5 per month. Ton find Fs4 mixed with Sambo here, 
bat the form<^, in case of danger, most pioneer, for Sambo 
is Yidaable prqperty— cash — ^while Pat belongs to himself 
and draws pay. 

Bat the great and conspicnoos featare of this remark- 
able riyer I haye not toadied npon. It is Cotton. Cotton 
u king. Aside fr<Mn the entire dependence of the planter 
npon ** Eang Cotton," and the enormoos infla^ce it has 
upon the great palse oi the world — the endless enterprises 
it encoarages, nay, is father of-— 4ts miiyersal ose throngh- 
oat the great creation of Ood, and the comfort it giyes 
IKs created ; addo from all these, the mere loading it, the 
method of transit from sked to deck even, partakes of a 
noyel, fearful sablimity, characteristic and consistent with 
the great artide itself. I can bat feebly giye you a 

description, yet I will try. 


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226 Kit Kelvin's Kernels. 

The cotton is always stored under cover, and directly 
npon and above the river ; no matter how high the blnfi^ 
its destiny is the dedc, and it most reach it ; and reach it 
it does in a fearfully quick tune. 

The boat lands. Instantly the hands are ashore, in two 
squads ; one, climbing up through mud and by oufr 
cropping roots to the shed, to start "King Cotton" over 
the bluff ; and the other, stationed below, to receive the 
bale as it comes headlong down, crashing brush and tree 
in its frightful leap — at tunes with a resiliency perfectly 
wonderful, reminding you of an overgrown, obese monster, 
leaping for very joy at a release from long confinement, yet 
with uncertain, maudlin strides, treacherous to the last 
bound, sometimes carrying deatli to the poor wretch below, 
who has been watching its progress with bill-hook in hand 
ready to seize it the moment it ceases its ungainly antics, 
and roll it to the deck. This is one method. 

And yet another. 

It is night — ^past midnight too — ^there is no moon, and 
darkness is felt. Pine torches show us how and where to 
laud. As the boat is made fast, you see figures going up 
the sUdtf made of wooden rails, with steps between, for 
more easy ascent. It is 200 feet and more to the top. 
Half-way up stan4s a negro, lazily resting upon his torch. 
You can see his thick lips half open and his eyes half shut. 
StiU he stands — ^the torch-bearer. The light of the fat 
pine knots throws a fall glare upon surrounding objects, 
bringing into perfect view the muddy stream and the 
towering b}off, its sides wooded by the black gum-tree. 

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A Kernel for "The Kniok." 227 

covered all over with pendent parasite, for all the world 
like shroads for the dead, which rans, and clings, and 
hangs to and from the topmost branches down and into the 
rushing current beneath. While you look, you wonder and 
you shudder, for this hanging moss whispers to you of 
sickness and death, the tell-tale of fever. 

You have already lost sight of the climbers, but directly 
another light, so high up it is faint, and a voice sends down 
the warning, " Stand from under," The response below 
is, " Let it go 1" For a moment only there is perfect 
silence, while the hands on deck are anxiously looking 
aloft for the burd^ — ^when suddenly a rushing noise is 
heard far above, and immediately an undefined object is 
seen gliding with the speed of lightning over the wooden 
track, directly down upon the deck, shaking and shudder- 
ing the River Monster " from truck to keelson.'' Clark I 
His a. picture sublime and fearful. 

I thought of you as I stood with a genial friend from 
old Richmond gazing upon this midnigkt crayon^ and how 
much you would have enjoyed it. How strange it is 1 
What brain-freak at that moment brought up an old 
memory ? I saw you agam upon the forecastle, seated in 
the fore-chains alonCf and looking upon the broad, melan- 
choly ocean — as you well remember I Aye I like an 
Albatross hroodvng upon the, wave ! 

But that deck is ^silent now, and my feet, that once 
knew it so well, will know it no more* There is a 
pleasantness in an old picture, Clark, and how gratifying it 
is that it cannot be taken down ! 

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The Autobiography of BiD Money Dollars. 

The autobiography of BOl Money Dollars is a simple 
tale, written in simple style, teaching simply humanity. 
It is a sunple thing to read it, and it is a yery simple 
thing to forget it. 

There was once a simple physician, who gave sunple 
prescriptions, and effected simple, though radical cures. 
He was not feted by the great with devilled partridges, nor 
was his palate tickled with Ohablis ; but he simply desired 
the '^ devil to have his due.'' It is some time since he 
'^ departed this life," but a simple head-stone reads 
simply thus : * 

** Admired for his modesty. 
Mourned for his worth.*' 

Reader, if you will listen, I will read to you, simply : but 
you must bear in mind, 

** The earth hath bubbles, as the water has. 
And these are of them.** 

A pleasant face ornamented with a pan* of spectacles, a 
head slightly bald, and a rotundity of person only visible 
among easy good livers ; a cheerful, jocose, orbicular- 
bodied geutleman, held me subject to Qrder, He bad beep 

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cashier for many years, and presided over a tastefully 
furnished room, a massive yaalt, and several ponderous 
tomes, wherein were a multiplicity of figures — a bank 
and all its appurtenances. The door opened upon a pretty 
village street, lined with ancient elms, graceful in foliage, 
and inviting to the dweller and stranger. It was in the 
month of June : the air was loaded with the fresh fra- 
grance of budding blossoms, and the plumed birds, drunk 
with joy, carolled dulcet notes, until the stillness broke 
again with the pleasing melody. 

Fw to look upon, with a rich complexion. Pleasant 
Face smiled upon me as he pronounced the word "good," 
and, with a sigh ^ which savored of a desire to possess, I 
was secured with many others by a band that Samson 
would have broken more easily than the withes of the 
Philistines. The light closed from me : I fain would have 
implored freedom, and danced merrily and high into the 
beautiful world, but I could not. 

" Cashier ! please change this bill i^ " Certainly ; but 
I have no silver ; give you bills. Have you seen the new 
issue V^ and forthwith I was presented. The stranger took 
me and eyed me carefully. " Yery well done and very 
pretty — ^hard to counterfeit — ^Rawdon, Wright a,nd Hatch, 
eh ? By-the-way, I received a letter from Tom yesterday." 
" Did you ?" " He says he is doing well, and shall leave 
the mines in about a month." ^* Lucky dog I" said Pleasant 
Face, " and here we are grubbing on." The drawer closed 
upon me, " What a queer existence is this," I thought, 
" M<me^ is mjr name. What does it mean ?" 

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230 Kir Kelvin's Ebbnels. 

" Good morning, Cashier 1" " How do you do 7" waa 
the response, placing a surprised, pleasant accent upon the 
last word. It was his way, the manner of Pleasant Face. 
" You have plenty of money, I suppose, and my credit 
is good, eh ? Want it to^y, badly ; going to buy cattle." 
** Well, you are clever and pleasant ; how much do you 
want ?" " Oh ! five hundred wiU do." " Lwge bills, Mr. 
Thrivewell ?" " Well, give me one hundred small, the rest 
large, if you please." 

I was upon the counter. " Halloo I new money 1" " Five, 
ten, fifteen, twenty. Yes ! One hundred small, I believe ?" 
" So, so." " Twenty-five, thirty-five, forty, (fine day, sir !) 
forty-five, fifty," " Yes, things look charming this morn- 
ing." " Fifty-five, sixty, sixty-five, seventy, eighty, ninety, 
one hundred. One, two, three, four," recapitulated 
Pleasant Face, as he removed a pencil from his ear, and 
noted it upon his blotter, "and new money at that." 
" Well, it will slip easier , 'twon't stay put long." Mr. 
Thrivewell was a large man with a red face and coarse 
voice, dressed in a grey suit, and wore an ea^y manner. 
Taking from the inside pocket <^ his coat a large wallet, 
he packed me away, and after a^ few more words with 
Pleasant Face, I heard hun say, " Good day ; come, get 
up, Charley I" and a rumbling noise startled me, for I felt 
conscious of being in motion. "Well, this is a queer 
existence. Pleasant Face has given me away," I solilo- 

Mr. Thrivewell drove on, humming several tunes, of 
which I now know, were '* Cheer up, my lively Lads," 

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and '^ Yankee Doodle." He made a funny noise from his 
month ; and between the two, and " Get up, Charley P I 
got quite tired with the rapid jostling. But it suddenly 
ceased, by a queer exclamation from Mr. Thrivewell. 
" Whoa I Never mind taking him to the stable ; just 
bring some water here. Shan't stop long." I came to 
light among new faces and a smoky atmosphere, loud words 
and hearty laughs. " Good morning, gentlemen," exclaimed 
Mr. Thrivewell. " Do you know whether Jabe Williams 
has got his lot of cattle yet r "Want to buy?" "Why, 
yes, if I can git 'em reasonable." " Well, I was up there 
yesterday," exclaimed a voice ; "saw Jabe, but he didn't 
say nothing about his critturs ; suppose — don't believe he's 
sold them." " No, no, sold 'em, no I" broke in a gruff- 
voice. " He's too steep in his price, any way. See here, 
111 jest bet a cool five you won't buy them." " Jabe is 
devilish dear, I know ; Captain give us some of your Santa 
Croix ; but I'll take that bet, for if he's got them, I want 
'em, and am after them. Pretty good stuff," continued 
Mr Thrivewell, smacking his lips. 

" What a queer existence this is. But I like Pleasant 
Face and Ms" " G^ up, Charley," sang out Thrive- 
well, and away we rumbled. 

I wondered what I was — ^my object in life ; why my 
name was so often called. Valuable I undoubtedly was, 
and had peculiar power ; but my existence was still a 
mystery, and I began to wish for developments and more 

" Good morning, Mr. Williams I" " How about those 

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282 Err Ejxvin's Kernels. 

cattle f" " You want 'em 1" " Not particular : will you 
sell cheap P *' Cattle's riz, you know, Mr. ThriTewell." 
" Well, never mind, I'm going into York State ; 111 call, 
if I don't get supplied." "Well, hdd on," exclaimed 
Williams. " They are just below the hill : 111 ride down 
and show 'em up." " Gome, get np, Charley." " There, 
Mr. Thriyewell. There's a fine crittur — girt six feet — 
four and past. His mate is beyond that black heifer. 
Fve got some ten or twelve I'll sell." 

" Mojiey is less trouble than critturs," exclaimed Mr. 
Williams, as he threw me down with many others of my 
kind upon a table. I had changed hands, and was in a 
common room, but very dean and neatly furnished. It 
had the air of thrift rather than indolence. "There, 
Mary," giving me to his wife ; " thaf s for you." " Jabe, 
you are real good. Now, we'll get Fred uid Sarah some 
nice things, and you know they need them, Jabe." 

From the many conversations I heard between Mr. and 
Mrs. Williams, 1 fully discovered my value, and the object 
of my life. The mystery was cleared up. I procured the 
luxuries and necessaries of life, purchased evil, rewarded 
merit ; saved life as well as instrumental in its destruction. 
A curious, strange, startling, hopeful, painful object. At 
.once a friend to the good, the wicked; to the divine 
instructor and the murderer ; as safe in the possession of 
the latter as the former ; a witness to ease, comfort, hap- 
piness, starving poverty, debauchery, and scenes of hellish 
passions. To be a friend to this, to these, to all. To be 
present when good might be done, and yet unable to 

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' Adtobiogeaphy of Bill Money Dollars. 238 

itccomplish it. To nin a career, rapid in its yarioos 
changes, and to do nanght by my own volition. I found, 
also, I should see Pleasant Face again ; and although the 
time was uncertain, yet I looked f(»rward to this period 
with pleasurable anticipation. My name was Bill Money 
Dollars, either of which was understood by everybody. 
A fashionable mute, courted by all ranks, and eagerly 
retained. I brought smiles upon frowning faces, and sweet 
hope to the desponding ; relief to the dying, and succor 
to all. Without me, mankind starved, cursed, and 
perished ; with me, they exulted, triumphed, and made 
merry. Happiness, misery, comfort, discomfort, smiles, 
madness, charity, avarice, life, death, rapine, murder, all 
the objects man seeks ; all the deb^^g extremities in 
in which his vices incarcerate him, were embodied in me or 
mine. Strange and fearful object I What curious inge- 
nuity of the imaginative brain fashioned me to produce 
the startling disparities, ease and poverty, life and death ? 
And yet a frail tenure upon being I held. A puff of 
wind, a candle-spark, would destroy me. So it is with 
human life. To-day is — ^to-morrow was. It is even so. 

Mr. and Mrs. Williams visited a neighboring city for 
their purchases. It was determined that Fred should 
have a new cap, Sarah a new frock ; Mr. W. a new hat, 
and Mrs. W. a dear, sweet bonnet. The day was fine, 
and the ride an easy one, whiled away by a conversation 
partaking of that nature that a sufficiency of money and 
a willingness to spend begat. To hear the enthusiastic, 
ardent articulations of Madam, with her oft-repeated, 


by Google 

234 Krr Kblvin^b Kebnels. 

" Won't it be nice ?" itnd, " How pleased the children will 
be 1" with the response: "Yes, Mary ; I think it is not 
only our money, bat we can spend it as we please," would 
have delighted all, save a miser or a prude passi. 

The innocence, artlessness, nay, the naturalness of life 
and conyersation of inmates of a country home, tell more 
of true hairiness and pure confidence in an unalloyed 
state, than the stiff, formal twaddle of suspecting conver- 
sationists or wedded ones in a crazy town. Numbers 
beget familiarity, and familiarity contempt. The father is 
dishonored, the brother disgraced, and the pistol or poison 
an inevitable result. Human nature is of such changing, 
unreliable composition, that circumstances too often erect 
the guide-board wjiich points to pitfalls and irremediable 
ruin. No one can, like the Pharisee, honestly pray with 
the heart conscious of purity : " God, I thank thee I am 
not as other men ;" but all should, like the more humble 
and contrite Publican, exclaim : " God, be merciful to me 
a sinner." It is from the simple fact that, " to err is 
human;" and the great omnibus of life carries far more 
of the one class than the other — ^which is it ? Is this 
purely speculative, or honestly practical ? Is it fiction, or 
common sense ? Are mortals incased, and no golden key 
to unlock the door? Is, then, temptation without a 
ragged chasm of frightfulness filled to choking with the 
fallen ? Reader I You, perhaps, came from the quiet 
country, and all your sweetest memories, like dew on roses, 
are away among the hills and valleys of your nativity. 
The purling brook from which you pulled the speckled 

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AxrroBioGEAPHT OP Bnx Monet Bollabs. 235 

treat or cooled yonr limbs amid its whirling babbles ; the 
wooded hill, with its mossy rocks and carpet of many- 
colored leaves ; the meadows, with air redolent with 
nntainted fragrance of the clover and the everlasting ; the 
orchard, with its pendent limbs heavy with "seek-no- 
forthers," and the jnicy pippin ; the old church, aronnd 
which many evenings have you played " I spy," and " The 
Grey Wolf;" the schoolhouse, whose benches bear sad 
defacings of the jack-knife you were proud to wear ; the 
old straw hat, upon its nail in the kitchen ; the merry 
kitten, playing with peeping sunbeams, and the drony fly 
upon the wellHSCoured floor ; your mother, with her happy 
smile atid approving nod ; your father, whose very pre- 
sence banished all fear of hobgoblins or ugly travellers ; 
your brother, hasty, impetuous, but aflPectionate, and kind; 
your sister, modest and persuasive; the crowing cock upon 
his humble heap in the barn-yard ; the vtdn turkey, with 
wings grating the ground, and hideous gobble ; the 
homely cur, who runs at your approach to greet you with 
a gentle bite ; " Lineback," the cow ; " Charley," the 
horse; " Dick," with bell on neck, that bleats as you pass; 
the village green, where with honest emulation and manly 
sport you batted the ball you wound and covered with 
leather one rainy day, when your mother helped you: say, 
reader, what gaudy show, what fashionable adornments, 
what distorted feature of a life in town can compare to 
this — ^to these 7 Tell me I Then, do not smile at country 
artlessness. It is the Koh-i-noor of your happiness, civil, 
religious, domestic, public. It is the only sanative to 

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Kit Kelvin's Ksbkslb. 

pnrge the morbid feeling of no Tirtne yon have bad linger- 
ihg about jon, and robbing the life-chest of confidence of 
all its bespangled jewels, more precious than the gold of 
Ophir, more fall of fragrance than the grapes of EschoL 
The Lord do nnto me, and more also, if I ever forget or 
despise the little hamlet and aU its associations. O Boy- 
hood I passed amid such qniet, godly incentives — ^past, 
gone foreyer. If no monmnent ever stands above my ashes, 
where the wild bird warbles, and the flowing brook pours 
oat its lfi^>dng lollaby ; where the earth can grow green 
without the sacrilegious tread of many feet, I shall die 
unha^^y. I have wandered many weary miles o'er land 
and sea, but the home of childhood, like the golden rays 
of mellow sanset, has always shone above the splendor of 
palaces or the enchantments of the pleasure-world. It 
was humble, but within its walls was innocence protected 
by pious and devoted hearts. 

'* Get up, Bill I My dear," said Mr. Williams, " yonder 
is the spire, the Capitd. How the sun glistens upon the 
roof. Would you like to live in a city ?" " No I indeed ; 
I am content ; I should be too awkward and not sufii- 
ciently fashionable. Dark rooms ; stiff speeches ; afraid 
to laugh 1 No, no I Home is the place; the old fireside, 
where we can do as we please." 

" You are right. I could not be happy in a city. 
ShaU we fix off the children first ?" 

" Well, let me see ; stop at . Yes, I think we had 


A dtyt what is it? Many streets, some with recti- 

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Autobiography of Bill Money Dollabs. 237 

lineal courses, some crooked and narrow, some prim and 
cleanly, more dirty, filthy, and fonl ; high aspiring spires 
above edifices of stone, dark-brown, white and time- 
soiled, with stained windows to exdnde heaven's light and 
the sunbeam ; wherein congregate silk and broadcloth to 
worship God ; a mixed mnltitnde of good and in^fferent 
— ^the real devout worshipper, the vain miss, with brace- 
lets and tossing curls ; the empty-headed fop, with slender 
cane and slenderer 1^ ; the gouty, retired banker, with 
the blossoms of turtle-soup and devilled fowls and the linger- 
ing mellowness of "South-side'' and "Oporto" peeping 
from a red-veined face ; tbe stately matron, with her easy 
air and well-cherished looks ; the stranger, with subdued 
eagerness to stare, mindful of a pair of large black gloves 
and an ill-fitting coat, thicker boots than are fashionable 
to wear in town. A few trees, nature's great ornament of 
earth, half-grown, consumptive, labelled "Keep off the 
grass 1" "Dog Laws," as if they were allowed to remain 
merely to advertise the oracles of aldermanic wisdom. 
Countless heads of walking bipeds jostling each other into 
sour looks and ungentlemanly damns. Thundering omni- 
buses driven by a returned volunteer, a discharged soldier, 
or more worthy ones, who seated aloft, like Jove upon his 
throne, look down on creeping mortals, and lau^ at terri- 
fied females running the gauntlet betwixt hoo&, poles, carts, 
carriages, and the general chaos of a street, with whip 
in hand elevated above his head pointing to you as he sings 
Mb advertisement, " Bleecker street, ride up I" or tearing 
along like lightning run mad, passing a brother whip with 

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238 Err Kelvin's Eesnelb. 

an air of triamph and a bitter cnrse. Theatres, where 
persons stmt their brief hoar upon the stage and then die, 
to amnse lorgnette-gazers and the peannt pit,^ Saloons, 
whose walls are crowded with the productions of a per- 
verted easel, with a sleek-haired youth behind a counter, 
who delights in tossing " brandy-smashes,'' " ginKMXiktails,'' 
or " sherry-cobblers " for a pale, dight moustache, with one 
hand in pocket and leaning with an air of ahamdon upon 
the other, at the same time he is telling a friend that the 
" Old Governor'' is abroad, and he is " ahotUj' Restau- 
rants where bivalves are swallowed upon the halfnshell by 
this same slight moustache late at night when scarcely con- 
scions of his locality, and evidencing a superior and decided 
spirit of independence, mostly contingent upon several 
" drinks." Houses with green door-blinds, which the slight 
moustache frequents, and goes swifter on to a coffin and the 
worm. Massive warehouses, full from loft to cellar with 
foreign and domestic fabrics, superviBed by sallow faces, 
anxious looks, and grey hairs ; books posted and balanced 
by one who came from the country long ago, and now 
whose life-blood is slowly congealing for the last stroke his 
pen may make — ^and it is near ; beggarly paid, and he 
knows it ; but there is another fi^h country boy with 
ruddy cheeks, just outside ready to take his place, and he 
knows it, and so he writes on. Banks, treasuring gold, 
silver, bills, notes, drafts — ^the gods of men. Newspaper 
offices where the ceaseless click of steam-presses worked by 
gasping men, run aU day, aU night, to tell us by early 
mom what has transpired the day before throughout the 

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Autobiography of Bill Money Dollabs. 239 

XJnion ; for busy fingers are expressing upon wires the 
scenes the world has brought to light through the period 
of the bnried day. The rickety staircase and a back room 
where sits a fair one whose beauty is clouded by sorrow, 
and her poor garments scarcely covering the charms that 
ripen the hot blood of miscreants, the seamstress, plying 
her needle for fifteen cents per diem. The den lower down 
in the scale of vice than the house with the green door- 
blinds, in a damp, filthy basement, where the refuse of 
God's creation and man's statues meet to swallow the 
most villainous draughts of murder-inciting liquor, and 
talk hoarsely in mingled ejaculations of blasphemy and 
obscenity; the very place from whence has issued those 
who pursued directly their fellows, to send them by pistol 
or knife unanointed before their God. The high walls 
within which mortals who have les^d the barrier of inno- 
cence run headlong down to mme, to take their last sur- 
vey of earth and men, attended by one who wears a 
cocked hat, a sword, and an assistant ready at the drop of 
a handkerchief to cut the thread of life of him who stands 
erect with a white cap up<m his head and a white vesture 
upon his body, all trimmed with black, and around his neck 
a cord attached to an ugly beam above. Ay I not only 
man but woman. The bdd, impudent lad, proclaiming in 
torn accents the trashy papers he runs the city over with 
on God's holy day, grating harshly upon ears of worship- 
ping assemblies and defying the Law of the Mount, patron- 
ized by those who know better but care less. Drawing- 
rooms with their costly furnishing of rosewood and maho- 

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240 Ejt Kblyik's Kernels. 

gany ; soft carpets, gflded books, trinkets and ornaments 
from Yolnptnons Pans or the Italian mart ; and their oc- 
cupants, one of whom has toiled mnch and long and erred 
a Utile to make more money, and covered his derelictions by 
some generous act landed by pnrblind preachers and the 
press. The mother, daughter, son, who talk of operas, 
fashion, dress, a foreign voyage, all taming a deaf ear upon 
the wailing voice of some nnfortonate one, and yet listen- 
ing attentively to the dulcet tones of a well-known raiU, 
who has but ruin and misery in his attentions. The poor 
student in an attic, struggling on through dinnerless days, 
and suffering nights to send home — ^his peaceful country 
home — a story of merited worth and eventual success. 
Ay I the spire, the church, the street, the clanging steel of 
horses' feet, rumbling vehicles, the theatre, saloon, the 
counting-house, den, the marble hall, wealth, poverty, 
misery, infamy, selfishness ; these belong to a city. And 
yet there is one pleasant thing, the little leaven in a city. 
It is to be awakened upon a Sabbath mom by the subdued, 
merry peal of mellow beUs, talking to each other fr(»n dis- 
tant streets, and sweetly arousing the sleeper to a con- 
sciousness that it is the day of rest ; combining chords of 
harmonious music only excelled by that of " fiedling waters, 
the voice of girls, the hum of bees, the song of birds, the 
lisp of children, and their earliest words." 

Sons of the plough and golden harvest I Daughters of 
daily industry and its reward I You who live where blow 
the zephyr and the morning breeze, pure, fresh, fragrant ; 
where the squirrel chatters and the wo^ Hi^ -^ ; whare 


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the glad earth looks to heaven, puts on her robes of beauty, 
and smiles with tossing grain and juicy fruit ; where leaps 
the cascade and bubbles on in eddying currents the brawl- 
ing brook ; where the hill, valley, rock and wood echo the 
bleat of lambs, and lowing herds stay there. Break not 
the chain of contented happiness : for that a city life can 
never give a recompense. 

" How much did you say ?" exclaimed Mrs. Williams. 
" Two-andnsix-penoe, madam, and I'll assure you it is 
cheap at that.'' 

" It is very pretty ; I think it will become Sarah ; don't 
yo« think so, Mr. Williams ?" 

" Yes ; though I like the piece with the blue stripe." 
" You may give me a pattern of both, sir." 
" Yes, ma'am. John, cash I" and running came an 
active boy to take me to a desk, where, after being looked 
at sharply by a gray-haired man, I was placed within a 
drawer. A new home, but I could not blame Mrs. Wil- 
liams. I was made for such purposes — a mere thing of 
convenience. Scarcely had I settled to my place ere the 
till was again opened, and the grey-haired man had given 
me to the active boy again, and from him I passed into 
the soft gloved hand of a pretty face, upon which I 
thought a smile peqped otA when I looked up. That 
face I I have often thought of it since. It was beauti- 
fol. A soft shadow, so soft a passer would not notice it 
— ^a shadow more the result of memory and doubt than 
that of afiOictlon, hung ovot fine, intelligent features ; a 
dark eje and inviting lips, from which low, sweet tones 


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242 Krr Kelvin's Kernels* 

made melody. She was ifightlj fonned^ and a meDow 
tint upon her cheek tdd of breezes and the fie^ ; the 
same rich look I had se^ brfore upon faces in the conn- 

" Well, Mary, Fve made the purchase ; for it was so 
sweet a pattern I conld not miss it ; and it is not too gay, 
either. Yon know the (me we both admired so at Brad- 

'' Shan yon have it made up here, Isabel V 

''No;tiiereisapoorgirl in our village, who fits dresses 
nicely, and I shall help her. She has given me satisfifto- 
tion, and yon know* 

''Oh I I dare say ; bat then yon know, Isabd, you 
might take the fashion home.'' 

** Tes ; and be considered aristocratic.'' 

" Wen, Isabel, have you eeea your hero — ^yonr ideal.'' 

" No, no, Mary, don't be aUy." 

'' Why I'm sore, Bell, yon need not be ashamed of Hwt 
story. Jshonld reaJIy admire soch an adventure, and then 
tike possible meeting afterward." 

'' Yon are highly romantic, Moll : I should really like to 
see him, but then it is so long ago, A^has forgotten it and 

"Ah I BeH, yon don't think so, and what's more, you 
secretly expect to meet him again. You said in the hnrry^ 
confdsion, and all that sort of thing, you wound your 
handkerchief about his hand when he was hurt." 

'' I said I thought so, for I missed it." 

" Well, of cowrse you missed it, and of course, silly girl. 


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AxrroBioGBAPHY OF Bill Momcr Dollabs. 243 

yon did wind it, Now that handkerchief was marked in 
ypor name, and I know he will keep it and find yon out." 

" O Mary I you are crazy ; you cannot make me believe 
such absurdity. Why, he might have been engaged then ; 
how foolish 1" 

" Well, Bell, we young ladies are e:q)ected to be roman- 
tic, and to love all noble, brave, manly hearts, and espe- 
cially to delight in such adventures. Now, I wiU help you 
to find this hero of yours if you will describe him ; and if 
you will confess that you do not care am/jfthing for him, 
I'll love him myself if we ever meet." 

" Well, Mary, you are a great tease, and just to comfort 
you, and have a little sport, I will describe him," 

" Comfort me! oh 1 well ; come, I have the pf^)er and 

'' Ha I ha 1 what an idea, Mary. Is it not ridiculous^ 
making a husband from an adventure 7 He had a dark- 
bhie eye ; about twenty-two or three years old ; tall ; 
brown, curly hair ; rather slender ; a peculiar smile ; fuU, 
red lips." 

" Ah ? you wouldn't like to kiss them, Bell, eh ?" 

" Mary, Fll not say any more if you go on sa" 

" Nonsense, Bell, you must. Let us see how it reads. 
Darkrblue eye ; about twenty-two ; tall ; brown, early 
hair ; rath^ slender ; a peculiar smile ; full, red lq)S 
Why, Bell, you haven't described his nose or his voice." 

'' Roman nose ; and he had a sweet, gentle voice." 

'' Of course. O Bell 1 there is no mistake." 

'' What do you mean, Moll 7" 


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244 Err Eelyih's Kernels. 

** I mean that you are in lore. Gome, let ns go down 
and play a game of chess ; and as yon are the better 
player of the two, 111 wager the snccessfnl check-mating 
on my part.'' 

" But if I am the better player, why do you say so V 

" Oh I I shall tease you if I s^y.'' 

" No ; ru take it m good joke." 

" Well, then, when we are in love, we cannot think of ' 
anything else." 

" Check-mate it is, as true as I live. Bell," rang out the 
merry tones of Mary. 

" Hark I mother's voice : I must go and see what she 

"Mary is a dear good girl, but a real tease. Tis 
strange she should have the same presentiment. But I 
shall laugh it off." 

" Love let us cherish, cherish," was Mary's melody, as 
she returned. "Say, Bell, what say you to a walk? 
Mother wishes me to go downnstreet for her." 

'' Well, with all my heart ; and I must get me an 
article I forgot to-day when I was out." 

*' Have you blue veils T' It was the sweet voice of 
Isabel " Do you like that, Mary ? What is the price of 
this T" Another moment, and I had left the company of 
my fair owner, and was stowed once again in a deep, 
dark tin. 

" Confound the cash t 'twon't balance." A young &oe 
full of perplexity looked upon me, but the contracted brow 
soon smoothed, and I was careieBsly placed in his pocket. 

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** Half-a-dozen on balf-6hell, and a mng of ale. Hallo I 
Tom, take a seat. What will yon have ? Here, waiter, 
dnplicate my order. Well, Tom, what news ?" 

" Nothing, Jim, By-the-way, have you been to No. 10, 

" No I but I saw her to-day in the store." 

** Any one with her f" 

** TeB, a deuced pretty girl" 

" Isn't she ? I fancy that girl j bnt th«n she is from 
the conntiy, and rather reserTed, and not inclined to get 
acquainted. How stupidly modeet these country girla 
are T' 

** That is true. Here, waiter 1 some more oysters — 
hnlf-shell I She m very ictelligent, and would, if die were 
inclined^ make a great sensation." 

" Who is she f Do you know V^ 

" Her name is Isabel Bale, a cousin of Mary's, Here, 
waiter, your change : bring some cigars," 

I had passed into the boy's hands, 

" Blow me ! if I know much about such stuff, BiU, 
Comes hard and goes easy, like music from a bagpipe. 
Cbange^s right, eh, Bill T 

■* Aye ! aye 1 blast the odds," 

I found myself in the hands of a queer person, different 
from any one I had ever seen, and he talked funnily, too. 
He had halanced upon the top of his head, inclining 
toward his back, a smnO, round, shining hat ; large eoOar, 
blue, and worked with whit<^ j blue jacket and bright but^ 
tons ; a belt about his waiat^ and his hands very hard and 

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948 Krr Kelvin's Kernels. 

spotted with blue : when he walked he rocked from side to 
side. His trowsers came down loose over his feet^ and u 
black ribbon abont his neck. His face was rery browB, 
fall of wrinkles, and he was constantly chewing. 

"I say, Bill, let's make a dive here.'' 

** Aye, one place's good as another." 

" I say. Captain Bottle, or what the d— 1 yonr name is, 
give ns some Santa Croix." 

" Easy, Jfan : Inff I thafU do." 

** I say. Bill : that plonhdongh spechnen yonder is 
making fon of ns. If he says any more, Fm blowed if I 
don't spill his bUge-water." 

"Tw^histop4ights, Jhn,eh? Whew I WeU, here's 
to the lass that loves a sailor." 

'' Bill, he's made his signals again, and they are d — d 
piratical I say, here, you scurvy lubber, do you want any- 
thing of usf" 

" Mind your business, or 111 settle your accounts." 

A fearful sound followed, amid cries of murder, and 
strangled oaths : and I only knew its termination from the 
conversation that followed. 

" Bill, that lubber will slip his moorings, or he has a 
better hulk than common." 

" It will do him good. Jim." 

" Petticoat ahead. Bill, let's shake out a reef and 
overhaul her: she looks in distress." 

" Hallo I mother I Why, blow me. Bill, how sorry she 
looks; seen hard gales. 111 swear. Here, take that, and 
bless your old heart t Cheer up. It's the like of ye that 


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we Baik»*s know how to pity. We know wdl the s^ 
nak of distress.'' 

" And here, mother,'' says Bill; "here's more for yon. 
Go and get some Jdll^rief, and let it cheer yonr old heart.'' 

" You are very kind," replied a feeble Toice. " I amyery 
poor, and my ieunily are suffering. This win help me; and 
may God be very kind to you for your generosity." 

" Gome, mother, (xxne and take a cheer with us." 

" No; I never use spirits: you are very kind." 

** Shiver my timbers, Jim ; do ye hear that ? Wlqr, 
fihe's one of the Bethdites, eh?" 

Laid upon the table, a small room and its miserable fur- 
niture were about me. An old bureau, knobless and 
shaken, three chairs, a bed covered with scanty a{^)arel| 
upon which lay a poor, emadated girl of some sixteen 
years. The dark, glassy eye, sunken cheek, and hollow 
cough, told m<^e than w<»dfi the frail tenure of life die 

" Clara, dear I some good, kind-hearted mkfs^ gave me 
some money. Look 1 we can get along a little while 
longer." The girl, feeble from disease, witii exertion 
raised her head and looked upon me. An audible groan 
was all the answer. 

Reader, were you ever a witness to a scene of poverty ; 
humble, merited poverty; poverty that clung and would 
not *be shaken off ; poverty that ate to the vitals and 
sapped sweet life 7 Sordid man of busmess, whose chief 
object is to get, no matter how, but ^ ; no matter if the 
fingers that worked for your benefit belonged to a diseaaed 


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248 Eir Eelyin's Eebitels. 

frame. No matter if the yomig, bright eye dimmed and 
shut in death. No matter if cold and hmiger and want 
and disease followed the ^ttance given for stitclws taken. 
No matter. Your pockets clink with the shining metal ; 
you/r bank account is large ; swells to laughter. Your house 
has comfort, aye, luxury. Your daughter is merry and 
gleesome. Your son is ranking high at the uniyersity. 
Your wife has her carriage and driver. No matter, though 
it be the life-blood of some poor, loring, affectionate young 
being, that nourishes and warms. No matter. But 
look ye. Cannot the pestilence enter your windows? 
Cannot the shroud enwrap your loTed beings 7 Cannot 
the deyouring flame consume, and hard-hearted creditcH^ 
(seared like yourself) chase you as you have others? 
€annot the full house become empty, and the halls once 
echoing with mirth and iashiemable reyelry by night be 
forsaken and dark? Cannot the tempter whisper, and 
despair unnerve your soul ? Cannot a ghastly sight of 
blood and brains tell the sequel? Say, are these im- 
probable ? Be careful I The demon has ah*eady fixed his 
glaring eyes upon you. You are charmed, blinded, lost 
fdreadyl Go to, now. Let there be written upon the 
closed house, the black and charred timbers of the ware- 
house, engraven with deep lines upon the smcide's monu- 
ment — Fifteen cents per diem ! Let the passer stop and 
with eager curiosity point his finger to the words, and ask, 
" What meaneth it Y" Let the faded shadow of the dead 
girl sweep by, and whisper, " It is the end of him who paid 
to clamorous poverty the pittance you read.'' The finger 

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Autobiography of Bill Monet Dollars. 

is dropped, the stranger passes on and matters, " Shame 
upon the mortal ; and yet it is the short-sighted selfishness 
of man." Reader, would you a lesson be taught 7 Go 
and use your slight or powerful influence, as it may be, to 
aid the poor; to open the veins of charity in that hard- 
hearted man you know, and teach him the story of the 
widow's mite. Go, and like him who leaves a sphere of 
comfort, an atmosphere of civilization, and plunges amid 
scenes of vice, misery, and aU repuMveness to rescue, re- 
form, relieve and nourish. Strike a helping blow, and 
stand by the end. Noble is the rescuer from shipwreck, 
but nobler is he who labors to rescue his erring fellow. 
" Lilly" and " Tany" will yet appear bright jewels, sanc- 
tified, redeemed in heaven, as witnesses for him who has 
made the deserted heart to rejoice, and the dens of 
wretchedness as peaceful heritages.'*' 

The world knows not, cares not. The ceaseless tide of 
human life floats on, and when his work is done, and he 
himself goes Aome, his memory will be as the dew of Her- 
mon, "like apples of gold in pictures of silver," ever 
bright, ever beautifuL Reader, can you doubt it ? Let 
not the smile of incredulity, the careless " 'tis well enough," 
lull you into the bed of selfishness, and cover you as with 
a garment ; for there is that in you which says there is 

* A touching description of the rescue of these two poor, ne- 
glected children, by the noble missionary of " The Points,*' from a 
loathsome intimacy with some abandoned, degraded blaoka, was 
published in the Independent (a religious weekly of New York 
C;ty), April, 1858. 


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250 Kir Ejsltin's Kernels. 

a God, and just, who rec<HDpeiiBeth the nghteoos, aiid 
heareth the crj of the rayen. There is a reward, a puiush- 
ment, for alL Let him who would mock, then, mock stilL 
Sublime is the death of him who does with what He has 
given ; calm and peacefol like the falling of rose-leayes, so 
soft, so gentle, that the rising sun only evidences the :racaat 
places of earth's sweetest OTnaments. 

A little boy sat at the foot of Clara's bed, and said the 
doctor had been in. '' Oh I yes, mother P whii^red the 
dying girl ; " he says I cannot last Icmg. Merdfol heaven! 
be kind to mother and Charley I If they could only go 
with me 1" The mother stood for a moment before the 
bed, and looked upon the wan features of her support : it 
was a look full of bitterness, the gall of despair and un- 
mitigated agony ; and fiEdling upon her knees, and throw- 
ing her arms about the faded form of Clara, she exclaimed, 
in heart-broken accents : ** O Ood of the widow, of the 
fatherless, have mercy upon me and mine I Man nunf, but 
Thou canst aid us." 

" Mother, it is all right. You will be provided for. Did 
you see Mr. Boyd ?" 

** No, dear child ; he is out of town still, and his partner 
knows nothing of the business ; he says all such settle- 
ments belong to Mr. Boyd. He said, he had no idea that 
there was anything due you." 

" Well, mother, the balance is small, but it would help 
you some ; but I would not go again. Let hem keep it. 
It is a long way for you, and you are not able. The kind 
sailors' money will 4p fpr W fts long as I shall be with you: 


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Autobiography of Bill Money Dollars. 261 

and then God proTides for His children. So stay at home, 
dear mother.'* 

" Clara, it is wrong in me to fed so ; but you — ^you — 
oh I" and placing her hand to her head, she wept the tears 
of true anguish. " We are used to poverty; I could smile 
at thea,"^ 

" Mother," said little Charley, "there's some one knock- 
ing at the door ; shall I open it ?" 

The door opened, and a gentleman entered and stood 
looking toward the mother with peculiar earnestness, while 
he addressed her : 

"IsthisMrs. MarUr 

"It is, sir." 

"Mrs. Clara Marll, who liyed in Mr. Bell's family in 
Westminster ?" 

" It is, sir." 

**T. am sorry to have obtruded just now, Madam," 
obserred the stranger, notking the sick girl upon the 

" Oh! no, sir. This is my daughter, very low, but your 
presence will not harm her. We have no other room, and 
are accustomed to many inconveniences that poverty only 

The stranger bore marks, the unmistakable evidences of 
a thoroughbred gentleman. His demeanor was subdued, 
but his air was dignified, and his look and tone seemed 
deeply to sympathize with the scene before him. 

" You, of course, madam, do not remember me ; for it 
is now over twenty years since we have seen each other ; 

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252 ^ Kit KiXYnr's Eebhels. 

but I well remember your kindness to me when my mother 
died. I am" 

" Victor BeU P exclaimed Mrs. Marll. 

"Mother I" whispered Clara, "yon are provided fw. 
God is good. I faint." 

The shadow of death rested npon the eyelids of the 
wasted girl, and with one common feeling, such as only 
sickness, danger or death can produce, the panic-stricken 
mother and the sympathizing Mend stood oyer the bed of 

"Raise her head, Mrs. Marll, that she may breathe 
easier : it will soon be over." 

"Mother, moth" 

The scene was over; for a gosh of blood ran down npon 
the pillow, and a slight shudder had sealed the colorless 
lips for ever. 

" O mother 1 is Clara dead ?" screamed little Charley; 
and he, too, flung himself with his heart-broken parent 
npon the bed. 

There was a pause that followed, the dlence of which, 
broken by successive sobs, only told the solemn cause. 
Tears coursed down the cheeks of Victor as he silently bent 
over the features of the dead, and in low but soothing 
tones spoke consolation to the widowed mother, and after 
an appropriate delay, deposited a heavy purse upon the 
table and withdrew. A long time the mother and boy lay 
upon the bed, until the hasty steps of aid and expressions 
of compassion fell upon their ears. Victor had returned 
with Q^edfql f^ssistance^ and ^ thin^ wer^ done decently 

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and well. Help had come timely, and solaced the last 
hours of the dying seamstress. She had closed her eyes 
with the echo of friendship lingering in her ears, and upon 
her pale face the smile of hope was triumphant. 

Clara was buried the succeeding day, and Mrs. Marll and 
Charley comfortably lodged in other quarters, the result of 
Victor's kindness ; and he daily called to give by his 
presence that comfort which kindness and sympathy only 
can bestow. Mrs. Marll, I found, had been his nurse in 
infancy, and until the death of his mother, when the father 
removed to another region. Gnie history of Mrs. Marll 
was, like many others, a marriage entailing misery and 
ruin ; for her dissolute husband left her destitute after the 
birth of Charley. Thrown upon the selfish tide of human 
life, the widow had struggled in rain for a comfortable 
maintenance. Latterly Clara had done much toward a 
support, but had chilled h^r life-blood by deprivation and 
hard, assiduous labor. This was the simple story of the 
widow. How many can tell the same? Ay, the splendid 
drawing-room, where the merry song and silvery music 
fiteal over the senses to entrance and enchain, while near by 
comes upon the evening breeze the low wail of crushed 
hopes, withered expectations and fading life. They are 
neighbors, but know not each other. An ocean of style, 
rank and fortune sweeps between them; the sinking ship 
bears with it a precious load of diamonds, while the proud 
hulk enters port in haUast. The uneven allotments of life 
are the daily theme of discontented beings who cannot ap- 
preciate the impossil?ility of general wealth and ease. Man, 

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S54 "Km Kelvin's Ejsnikls. 

in his philosophy and sage wisdom, can translate the mys- 
tical hieroglyphics when sorronnded by plenty; bnt let the 
cold wind of adyersity blow hard npon his ba<^ and, 
bending like the pliuit osier before the sweeping gale, he 
bitterly mnrmnrs that others are not chased by misfortune. 
Why, then, these uneyen allotments ? Within the yeil of 
the temple there speaks the oracle. Go ask ; for 'tis 
neither sanctified priest nor worshipping layman can read 
the handwritmg upon the wall Reader, 'tis foUy to tell 
you to bear well the witherii^ stroke of heayy affliction; 
to stand by with endurance when poyerty consumes you; 
to speak well of fortune in your neighbors; to bide your 
time; for well is it known it is the adyice of a mortal to 
his fellow; but then it is the better way. Blessed is he 
who endureth eyen unto the end. 

" Mrs. Marll," said Victor, upon one of his visits, " Fm 
about leaving town for another portion of the country, and 
I do not know when I shall return. Possibly never. You 
are provided for, as I have told you ; but should you by 
unforeseen circumstances ever want a Mend, this card 
gives you the address of one who will be to you in my 
absence what I would be if near you. There was an 
adventure occurred to me several years ago that has always 
interested me, and I dare say will you, and I desire you 
to know it, aa possibly you may be able to aid me should 
the time ever come. Several years ago, while visiting the 

county of — >-*, I stopped at the village of S to 

spend a few days. As was my wont, I was taking a ride 
through the region, and had jogged on some ways from 

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the Tillage. Suddenly in the distance appeared a carriage 
with a horse under full speed, eyidently uncontrolled by the 
person who held the reins. The road ran directly on the 
borders of a deep^ slnggish stream ; and should an accident 

occur to any vehicle bere, it miiKt neee^ssarily place the 
inmates in peril of beiDg submerged. I iiiimediatdly reined 
in my horse^ turned aside as far as postiible, awaiting the 
reBult with breathless e-xpee-taucy. I feared the worst, for 
the horse was approacliing with frightfuj speed. The next 
moment I had leaped from my carriage and plunged into 
the stream to the relief of a youug ladj who had been 
thrown from the carriage, while the horse tore past me 
with his bits all foam, while BtiU within Bat a gentleman, 
whose countenance bore great anxiety and fear. In leap- 
ing from my gig I stmcfc my hand tipou the Btep atid cut it 
Eevercly* I rescued the girl from the water, wlio was very 
much frightened, and possibly might have drowned before 
aid could hare arrived, had I not been upon the spot. She 
immediately inquired if her father wa« safe. She could not 
have been more than sixteen, but she was very fair, and 
her features were those of tntelUgence and beauty. The 
wound npon my hand she bound with her handkerchief. I 
was about making arrangements to convey her to the hotel, 
when the carriage reappeared, and the father and daughter 
were again together. He had succeeded in stopping the 
horse without injury^ and in a few moments we had sepa- 
rated and were purfiuiug our different routes. The hand* 
kerchief I preserved. ITpon it is the name of Isabel Dale. 
The name, I d^^ mj^ of the young lady I rescued. Upon 

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256 Kit Kelyin'b Kernels. 

my return to the hotel, I found the strangers had tarried 
there sufficiently long for their wet clothes to be changed. 
The young lady told the landlord's wife she owed her life to 
a stranger, and had been very stnpid not to have obtained 
his name. Bat the fright, anxiety, and confusion, were 
her only apologies." 

" I may possibly be of service to you, Mr. Bell. I cer- 
tainly shall never forget you again. God will reward you 
for your kindness to me.'' 

" Charles," said Mrs. Marll, the succeeding day, " take 
this" — giving me to the boy — "and get the cap I 
ordered for you yesterday. It is the money the kind sail- 
ors gave me ; but I cannot always keep it. Go, now, and 
ask for the cap in a gentlemanly manner. You must try 
to be as much of a gentleman as Mr. Bell ; and you must 
always love him as more than a friend — ^your rescuer and 
benefactor. Your poor mother owes everything to his noble 
heart. He was always so, when no older than you are ; 
ever generous, and kind, and affectionate." 

I was again adrift, ready for new scenes and acquaint- 
ances. And so is it with life. Mortals cling to loved 
ones and pleasant homes with obstinate tenacity ; but 
there cometh the gale of change, and united hearts and 
happy firesides grow strange and unfamiliar ; or, more 
than this, the whisper of death chills the beating pulse — 
it lessens, it ceases ; the friendly smile, the cordial union, 
the noble heart, are all faded, broken, and silenced in the 
damps of an echoless grave : the grass springs up, and 
naught save memory tells of the one who has passed away. 

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Autobiography of Bill Money Dollabs. 267 

It is the history of all ; upon it we rarely ponder ; though 
we know it, yet we think our time is yet distant. 

A strange face looked upon me — a thin-faced man : and 
his sunken, small eyes brightened as in his count he made 
" Two hundred, I believe I am right. John, take this 
money and get it exchanged for current biUs. Be nim- 
ble !'' 

Thrown among a large collection of my species, more 
intelligence was given me of my value, and the various uses 
to which I was capable of being put. The broker was 
thin, very thin ; his temples throbbed heavily, and an 
anxious, scheming look, with a premature grey among his 
locks, spoke of an earnestness in his business only excelled 
by his speaking desire to accumulate. I fancied I could 
see the reflection of gold and silver and bills sparkling from 
.his eyes. He was employed unceasingly in counting ; jot- 
ting figures down upon paper in the shape of a long book, 
and throwing down change upon the counter. All his 
words and conversation seemed to echo back — ^money. 
Occasionally he would draw a deep breath and a " heigh 
ho I'' as an alterative chorus ; and what time he could 
spare from thumbing bills and quizzmg silver, he conversed 
to others around him in a peculiar language, to me per- 
fectly inexplicable ; such as, " Morris Canal ; Erie bonds ; 
in the street ; second board ; market tight ; exchange 
high ; Eastern small ; call loans ; lenders good demand ; 
coupons ; under limit, rates firm ; closed fair ; previous 
quotations ; brisk request ; shade lower ; United States 
Sixes, preferred stock ; cotton dull ;" in fact I supposed 

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258 Kir E^elyin's £[ebnel8. 

him eligbtlj demented. It was a basy office, and a con- 
stant ingress and egress of business men. l^eir chief 
object seemed either to make or retain money. Before 
night I was bandied extremely dose with others, and con- 
scions of being in motion. 

I came to light in a distant city, and in a room in some 
respects similar to my original home, though di£fering in 
size and multiplicity of faces. It had a subdued air of 
silent work and atmosphere of books. Treated in a care- 
less manner by a pale youth, precise and sober, I was 
consigned with a motley group to a huge parcel closely 
bound and labelled. "Die mouth of the pale youth was fast ' 
locked, save an occasional whisper, indicative of number, 
that barely struggled into existence through the partly- 
opened lips. The condition of many of my family was 
sad ; conspicuous in distress ; tattered, soiled, and 

It is thus with mankind. When the life-boat is first 
launched, careful hands and watchful hearts protect us. 
We float gently on into the mormmg bay, and then and 
there burst upon us scenes of dasszUng beauty. The 
prisms of the rainbow are not more splendid ; the feast of 
roses not more inviting. The chalice of soft-eyed beauty ; 
the melody of seductive pleasures ; the gate on golden 
hinges, opening scenes of ambition, renown, wealth, luxury 
and satiety. Hanging upon the tree of Mars depend 
golden epaulettes and kingly gifts ; from the imaginative 
forum. Authority, clad in glad vestments, winds from a 
silvery horn the song of oratory and choice adulation. 

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AtnaBioGBAPfiT OF Bill MaNEY Dollabs. 259 

Farther on, amid fragrant blossoms and nndying verdure, 
palaces of retirement gaarded by liyeried attendants. 
The clouds are tipped with the carmine of everlasting siii- 
shine, and all is nnntterably beantifnl. The yonthfiil eye 
grows blind by the gorgeous and intoxicating vista. " It 
is mine — all." Onward and forward rushes the mad youth. 
A warning voice, faint but prophetic, calls to him ; he 
heeds it not. "It is mine P Onward and forward. The 
voice follows : " Stay, presumptuous mortal, stay; beyond 
rushes the river of oblivion. Its current is deep and swift: 
you cannot breast it. It sweeps downward to old decrepit 
age and bitter disappointments.'' But the plunge is 
already made, and far below from amid the turbid eddies, 
gasping with exhaustion, struggles a changmg form ; 
whitened is the hair, sunken the cheek, dimmed the eye, 
palsied the limb, faint and broken the voice. It is the 
poor youth, stranded upon the beach of age, and death is 
encircling him. Ignorant of the scale of life ; sanguine in 
his own resources ; heedless to the voice of his guardian 
angel; blind to the experience of older mortals; indifferent 
to the dangerous reefs of the rolling current; negligent of 
the dismasted hulks about him; the rash youth, with his 
harness of gauze, makes the bold leap, the hazardous 
plunge, and is swept ¥rith his vapory strength and fleeting 
energies through the whirling eddies and rushing waters 
beyond aid and rescue. 

Seated upon the same high stool, with spectacles on 
nose, and the familiar '' How do you do 7" firom lips, sat 
Pleasant Face. I had been redeemed. No Icmger fresh 

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260 Kir Eslyik'b Eebnels. 

and fisur, with the look of rich elegance, bat wrinkled and 
worn, I longed to recount the scenes I had wititessed; but 
he passed me oyer with a stranger's indifference, and to 
my old dark quarters I was consigned. 

Pleasant Face was making arrangements for a jonmej, 
and I exchanged the drawer for his pocket. Desirons of 
rest, I was still unable to procure it. Symbolical of the 
lot of humanity. Mortals toil and endure with the pleas- 
ing hope of a continuance and an age of ease and plenty. 
With this object the youth aspires to the busy scenes of 
life, and separates himself from protection and a home r 
he enlists in the battle, and catches the enthusiasm of the 
time and place; moves on; the airy phantom, his ideal, is 
just before him; he thinks he can graq> it at any time, 
but is fascinated with the excitement of the present, and 
pushes on; the phantom-cloud is still before him. Years 
accumulate and the mortal tures : he presses to embrace 
the great object of his strenuous exertions, and cease from 
cares and anxieties; but alas 1 he sees his embodiment of 
ease and plenty is but an air-built castle, and it fades from 
his vision and his hopes forever. Mental suffering, physi- 
cal endeavor, avail nothing. He has reached the last 
round of life's ladder, and topples headlong among the 
crushed relics of mortality of those who preceded him 
after the same phantom, finding one common end. " In 
memory of," is the moumfdl inscription that outlives the 
talent, the effort, and the man — ^the only evidence even 
that tells he was. 

Despite my earnest desire that Pleasant Face should 

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Autobiography of Bill Money Dollabs. 261 

recognize me, we parted company without the sign of 
friendship, and I was once more adrift alone, faded and 
worn. For some time I was unmolested, and saying an 
occasional glimpse of the outer world, where others of my 
fraternity exchanged hands, I knew and saw but little. 
At these times I obseired the peculiar appearance of my 
possessor. He was a young, dashing man, elegantly 
attbed, with a profusion of costly ornaments, evidencing 
either wealth or worldly policy. His conversation was 
vsuried, adapting itself to the capacities of those with 
whom he discoursed; evidently a man of the world; withal 
of easy principles, and yet demeaning himself modestly 
when circumstances dictated necessity. I was amused at 
the different characters which he assumed — ^good, bad, 
and indifferent ; but the one in which he appeared the 
most at ease savored of evil ; a speciousness which evi- 
denced suspicion. For a time I enjoyed my imprisonment, 
but soon found the secret of the cause. It was the 
discovery that there were false representations of my 
value in worthless issues, and my fashionable owner was 
certainly aware of the existence of such. 

Preachmg morality to the world at large is a matter of 
questionable benefit. Man is, of such conundrum qualities 
that present circumstances invariably weigh the heavier, 
and education also brings its influence to bear. It is not 
always the training of a child in the way it should go that 
prefaces a godly life. The wiser the criminal, the more 
vicious has been the mark upon the moral world. Many 
tender-hearted mothers, faithful in incolcatmg healthful 

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Kit Eelvin'b E^ebnels. 

religion with the soDgs of the nursery, hare wept tears of 
nnntterable angnish oyer cold mortality once warm with 
hellish passions and recreant to the last pulsation. The 
frtachtr may imagine the life-battle, but he does not know 
it. Cloistered from bnsy scenes — ^the merchandise of con- 
science as well as oi periskablu — ^he can speak of the 
wrath to come with zeal and earnestness ; but, exchange the 
sorplice for the garb of commerce, and the same words of 
holy import which he now speaks may fall like hot sunshine 
upon burning sands. The truth is there, but the practice 
is adrift. It is the Present, not the Past or Future, that 
dictates. Hie latter whisper ; the former commands. 

Upon a table upon which stood yarious bottles, filled 
and partly emptied, uncorked and sealed, I lay. The 
room was ornamented with costly pictures ; but the light 
of day was excluded. It mi^t haye been night ; at aU 
eyents, gas-lights shot forth their forked glare, bringing 
into yiew the faces of six iadiyiduals encircling the table. 
Theur features diaracterized liyes of freedom of excess ; 
their calence, the cold-blooded determination of the player, 
unconscious of others' misfortunes, and dead to the friend- 
ship of honesty. It was a desperate game of high deceit. 
Each knew his fellow's propensity, his utter want of reliable 
integrity ; and they had seated themselyes coolly to plun- 
der, the greatest yillam the richest in the end. 

Such a scene is but a miniature in life. Are we not all 
striying for supremacy ? The supremacy of wealth, rank, 
honor, and position 7 It is eyen so. Eyery alliance has 
its gambler. Some for the praise of ap{»*obation, gene- 

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rosity, sympathy, and affection. The famous physician, with 
world-renowned celebrity, is naught but a player. The 
same compressed lip and pallid face, are his attendants upon 
disappointment or another's success beyond his own. The 
Reverend examplar smiles upon his double*Ds, with a side- 
long glance to the humble, unsuccessfol player for the same. 
The idea, though simple, is fraught with a principle, a fact, 
that may not easily be confounded. Error in robes of 
scarlet clothes the skeleton, and this ghastly framework 
stands upon every msaHs threshold. The beam and the mote 
are to be remembered, as well as recognized ; for they are 
inseparable. They rock the cradle of the in&nt, and look 
through the glasses of the old. 

The silence that possessed the circle was finally broken, 
and during the conyersation I gleaned a memory of my 
life. True, it had nevw been effaced ; but it had passed, 
and for some time had I ceased to hope for its cultivation. 

** I say, Bill, here is a mystery •/' and the ringing glass 
and gurgling wine made a period. "Here is an affedr 
worth explanation : listen I'' «id from a daily paper 
was read the following : " Ten Dollars Reward ! Lost 1 
with a light summe^coat of no value (and which may be 
retained), a small cambric handkerchief, with a peculiarly 
embroidered edging, marked Isabel Dale. As this is a 
keepsake, but of little worth to the^Tu^, it is hoped the 
same maybe returned to Mrs. Marll, No. 179, — Avenue,'' 
"And here," continued the reader, " is the identical toipe. I 
say. Bill, what can it mean ?" 

" That we are in the company of a pickpocket or iMd/^ 

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264 £iT Ejxyin's Eebnels. 

was the graff reply from the person addressed, who waa 
partially maudlin, and fretted with heayy losses. A quick 
blow followed the rejoinder, and a few seconds turned the 
table into an uproar of a serious nature. Two strong, 
athletic men had closed in a desperate struggle ; and ere 
the others could rescue either, the discharge of a pistol had 
told the story of one life, and summoned a night officer to 
the doubly-locked door. As it was burst open, so were 
the windows of the room, proving, temporarily, the means 
of escape to those who were implicated, yet innocent of the 
deed. In the confusion was left the very object of the 
players, together with the handkerchief and paper. The 
officer into whose hands I fell secured them. 

Upon another table, but surrounded by the professed 
aids of justice, I discovered myself in close proximity to 
the same handkerchief, which, with myself, had witnessed 
the tragedy of the players. I saw, also, my old friend, 
Mrs. Marll, who was explaining her advertisement ; evi- 
dently a witness summoned to assist in the matter. Her 
evidence was simply, that Victor Bell, while staying at his 

hotel, in street, had been robbed of a summer coat, 

and the said cambric. Business hurried him from town ; 
and for reasons well known to the reader, unwilling to lose 
the only clue to an interesting adventure, he had requested 
Mrs. Marll to advertise the property, with a reward well 
remunerating the person who should return it. Through 
payment to the witness, I again fell into the possession of 
Mrs. Marll ; a singular and fortunate occurrence. I had 
ever denred to know the fate and further history of two 

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Autobiography of Bill Money Dollaeb. 265 

individuals, in whom no one could be more interested than 
Mrs. Marll. Her circumstances had brightened, and she 
was the happy occupant of a snugdomicil in — r- Avenue, 
where she gained her support through the generosity of 
Victor, as well as by her own industry and the needle. 

" It is a singular coincidence," remarked Mrs. Marll to 
Charley, *^ that this bill should come again into my posses- 
sion, in connection with Mr. BelL I received it from a kind 
sailor, the very day our dear Clara died, and the very day 
Mr. Bell found us. I am not mistaken, for I marked it. 
I can but hope its reappearance is the herald of success to 
Victor. Could this mute, inanimate paper speak, Charley, 
how many scenes in life might it not depict 1 What 
strange owners does it have 1" 

My joy was excessive to be thus recognized. It was the 
first friendly recc^ition I had enjoyed since my existence. 

Reader, is there not here a moral ? We may not look 
upon the wealthy and the titled for a nod of memory. 
There is treachery in remembrance, for while it exists it 
denies life. To-day the nod is apparent ; for the nodder 
wants your vote, your strength, your unqualified Yes — ^for 
the time being, merely ; it is given, willmgly. To-morrow, 
the proud head averted, the cold eye resting beyond you, 
the ear deaf to a friendly " good morning." Remembrance 
existSj but it denies life. But from this gross denial springs 
a happy, bright, and buoyant issue : self-exertion, fed by 
laudable ambition. Well nurtured, it rises above all 
obstacles, and feeds upon the very comforts its parent 
failed in accumulating. It is, however, a very easy matter 


by Google 

Err Kelvin's Eebnels. 

to condemn human nature ; but a very difficult afl&ur to 
perfect it. Of books, there have enough been written to 
redeem and regenerate the entire human family. But the 
poignant word and bitter fact, clothed in the simplicity and 
regal attire of truthfulness, like wind-falls from the trees, 
drop to wither untasted. Thackeray's "Yanity Fair'' 
reaches the circle for which it was designed ; so does the 
autumn leaf leave the twig, to perish below, while the 
yemal season replaces the yacancy with fresh charms to be 
admired and lost again. It was this singular and contra- 
dictory element of character that troubled Paul, when he 
spoke of the fodishmtss of preaching. Yet properly and 
with correct assiduity do we follow the mandate, " Here a 
little and there a little," that we may retard the rank 
growth of this deadly nightshade, which, although never 
eradicated, is cropped and measurably subdued. 

" Is Mrs. Marll at home ?" It was a sweet voice : tho 
tones were familiar ; but I could not individualize. " Mrs. 
Marll, I have been recommended here by Mrs. Burley, for 
I want you to make me a bridal-dress. Can you do it, and 
have it finished by Thursday next ?" 

*** I can do it ; but I may not suit you," madam replied, 
looking upon the fair speaker ; and so through and after a 
long conversation it was settled that the customer should 
call agam upon a specified day. 

" Mary Arch 1" read Mrs. Marll from the card she held 
in her hand. '' A friend of Mrs. Burley : and she is to 
be the happy bride ; and a sweet face she has." And so 
I thought. It was Mary ; fair Isabel's cousin. Gould I 

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Autobiography of Bill Monet Dollars. 267 

but speak and tell Mrs. Marll that witHin her grasp was 
Victor's prize I How often are we within reach of the 
desired object, and still happy in ignorance thereof. The 
possession might dazzle us ; might destroy us. If we are 
to enjoy it, the proper time vnll come, let intervene what 
may of the nature of delay. A greedy spirit nauseates 
like an over-fed child upon sweet dainties ; but patience, 
having the reins to hold, drives us safely to the door of 
hope ; and we arrive none too late for the feast, because, 
unknown to us, we are the honored guests. 

Upon the table of the reception-room had been placed 
the handkerchief marked " Isabel," since the eventful period 
of the trial. The specified tin^e had elapsed, and punc- 
tually at the hour rang the bell, and Mary, accompanied 
by another lady, entered. During the few moments before 
Mrs. Marll appeared, the young ladies busied themselves 
looking through the books primly positioned^ around the 

" Why I this is funny I'' exclauned Mary, raising the 
cambric in her flesh-color^ gloves. " Bdl, see here 1" 

" What 1" said Isabel, looking with changing color upon 
it as she inspected the handkerchief ; her own, again res- 
tored. " Dear me, 'tis mine : the very edgmg^— the very 
mark 1 Why, Mary, what can it mean V 

** Mean 1" eagerly cried Mary ; " mean I brown, curly 
hair ; rather slender ; a peculiar smUe ; full, red lips." 

Mrs. Marll entered; but the agitated and flushed 
appearance of the young ladies eagerly examining the lit- 
tle cambric, so full of interest to her, almost paralysed the 

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268 Kit Kelvin's Keenels. 

good woman. *' And what does it all mean, Miss Arch V 
she exclaimed ; "do you know the owner ?" The bridal 
dress was before her eyes ; but hold I it was not for Isabel, 
though still it might be. 

" Indeed I do, Mrs. Marll ; Miss Dale." 

" Isabel looked up — her face so sweet, her cheeks man- 
tling a picture of beauty that motionless charmed the intro- 
duced. For a moment the twain stood speechless. 

" It is mine," said Isabel, " and brings back a memory 
of my life that I can never forget." 

"Was it a carriage — a — an upset — a — a rescue ?" cried 
Mrs. Marll. 

" Dear me, Mrs. Marll," said Mary ; " do you know 
him ?" 

Isabel sat down, and covering her eyes, wept audibly — a 
picture of gold in a shower of silver. 

The immediate errand was for a time forgotten. Fast 
flew the words ; the long-sought-for information was given ; 
the clue was found. Within the room was Victor's beau 
ideal — ^Isabel Dale I And where was he — ^Victor ? From 
the door egressed two happy hearts : full of joy, life, hope, 

" Bell, what a prize is he I You have not hoped in vain. 
Your life-dream is realized." 

" Ko, Mary, not yet. I wonder if" 

" Wonder ; no, he is not married, ^e isyour^, as much 
as Fairfax is mine. And, Bell, I'll tell him he must post- 
pone the wedding until there can be two. O Bell I I am 
happy 1" 

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Autobiography of Bill Money Dollars. 269 

The pavemeivt swam. The ornamental tree that were 
swiftly passed seemed filled with golden, prismatic buds to 
Isabel. Everybody wore a smile ; as if the little flutter- 
ing heart had tattled her simple story to the world. The 
very cool atmosphere ^/as filled with all the sweet-scented 
perfumes of Lubm. The tattered son of poverty was neat, 
clean, and joyous. The driving Jehus were running like 
mad, to buzz the approachmg nuptials. The loud-mouthed 
newsboy was cracking his lungs with the news of Victor's 
arrival. The rustling silks were but promenading to the 
wedding. The elegant-looking young man upon the oppo- 
site corner, starmg her full in the face, was Victor, about 
rushing to a full and joyous recognition. 

There was a letter lying upon the same table where the 
cambric was found. It had the simple address of ** Vic- 
tor Bell, Esq., Old Point ;" and Charley took it away. 

It was a bright, balmy, October morning. I was still 
snugly stowed away in a small compartment in a porte- 
monnaie, with the initial upon it, " M:^' Mrs. Marll was 
evidently expecting somebody ; she looked very cheerful 
and contented. Isabel had been in the night before for a 
few moments, and I heard the words, " To-morrow, I have 
no doubt ; for so said the letter." And I was not mis- 
taken. During the day, Victor arrived. His meeting 
with Mrs. Marll was such as could be easily imagined. A 
part of the time was passed in readmg a small gilt-edged 
note ; and it must have been very satisfactory, for his 
actions were of an endearing nature, even to the letter. 

Mrs. Marll was very busy, and an occasional word now 

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Krr Kelvin's EIebnels. 

and then conyinced me that there were two dresses to be 
prepared rather than one, and so it proved ; for some lit- 
tle time after, Charley spoke to his mother of returning 
with Mr. Bell and lady to Old Point. 

I eventoally passed into other hands, and finally, agam 
redeemed, am registered npon the " retiring Ust," patiently 
awaiting my final exit. It is not far distant, for Pleasant 
Face has ordered a pale-faced clerk to count the value of 
my bundle for destruction. And now with Cervantes, " I 
would do what I pleased ; and doing what I pleased, I 
should have my will ; and having my will, I should be 
contented, and when one is contented, there is no more to 
be desired ; and when there is no more to be desired, 
there is an end of it." 

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